Worldwide drop in sperm quality


A study published in Andrology has reported that the quality of sperm is starting to decrease on a worldwide scale. In Switzerland, 62% of sperm from young donors was found to present values below WHO standards.

Researchers from Geneva University conducted a study on the quality of sperm of 2,523 young Swiss men. Three criteria were analysed for the assessment: sperm motility, count, and morphology. The results revealed that the Swiss samples were among the lowest quality in Europe.

In Switzerland, the median concentration of sperm is 47 million spermatozoa per ml. If this count is below 40 million, it takes considerably more time to conceive. Below 15 million, the chances of conceiving become extremely remote. The study also showed that there was a significant increase in testicular cancer rates between 1980 and 2014.

The direct causes of this falling sperm quality and increase in testicular cancer are still being studied, yet previous studies have demonstrated a link between pesticide or pollution exposure and sperm degradation. Still, the countries that show the greatest drop in sperm quality are those least affected by environmental problems (Denmark, Norway, Switzerland).