Search icon


28th Oct 2017

Most men in Europe and the US will be infertile by 2060, claims expert

It's the 'logical conclusion' to current trends, he says.

Trine Jensen-Burke

Much is written about female fertility.

Families are supposedly having fewer kids because of women – due to careers and the desire to enjoy our youth, we’re leaving motherhood so late that more and more of us find ourselves needing medical intervention to get pregnant and start families.

While this is all true to an extent, we hear less about all the issues with male fertility.

Statistics are showing that sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have declined by 50-60 percent between 1973 and 2011. That’s right – 50-60 percent. Yikes.

Interestingly, the most recent study, which was conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analysed sperm counts of 42,935 men, and found that men from Asia, Africa and South America show no signs of sperm count decline – very unlike the disturbing figues their American and European counterparts are faced with.

Mass infertility is the ‘logical conclusion’ to the current patterns, according to one expert.

“If the data on sperm counts is extrapolated to its logical conclusion, men will have little or no reproductive capacity from 2060 onward,” wrote Chris Barratt, Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Dundee earlier this year.

So why is male reproductive health under attack? Well, many scientists have long since warned about environmental factors and pollutants that are endocrine-disrupting – and how male foetuses are particularly susceptible to exposure to these.

Chemicals, such as bisphenol A (found in many types of plastic), have been found to damage fertility, and many argue men (and women pregnant with baby boys) should limit their exposure to these.

Lifestyle is also likely to play a large part, with men being adviced to stay clear off cigarette smoke and maintain a healthy weight and a good and clean lifestyle.