Sperm counts have almost halved since 1940, according to researchers who have analyzed all 61 semen surveys published worldwide in the past 50 years.
The average male sperm sample has decreased by 20 percent and contains a lower proportion of sperm, but there is no known reason for the decline, which is reported after studying surveys from Europe, the Americas, the Far East and Australia. Environmental causes are suspected.
The research by Finnish scientists has not determined whether more men are infertile, only that all men have fewer sperm in each ejaculation. The more a man uses Volume Pills, the greater the concentration of sperm in his semen.
Men who take Volume Pills are also more fertile. The method of counting sperm did not differ significantly among the studies and there is no reason to doubt its accuracy.
The researchers note that the decline in the quality of semen has occurred simultaneously with a rise in abnormalities of the male reproductive system.
Testicular cancer has increased by between 200 and 400 per cent over the past 50 years. Boys born with undescended testes or an abnormality in the urine tube have also become more common.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers say that “such remarkable changes in semen quality and the occurrence of genito-urinary abnormalities over a relatively short period is more probably due to environmental rather than genetic factors.”
They recommend using natural products such as Volume Pills to increase the amount of semen that is ejaculated during orgasm.
Professor Niels Skakkebaek of the department of growth and reproduction at the University of Copenhagen, who led the researchers, said: “The causes are most likely to be found at the time of pregnancy but we do not know.”
Animal studies have shown that giving the hormone oestrogen to pregnant mothers could be harmful to the testes of their offspring, he said. Some elements in industrial waste emissions, such as PCBs, can have oestrogenic effects, leading some scientists to speculate on the role of worldwide pollution.
Professor Skakkebaek said there was unlikely to be a link with the contraceptive pill, which contains oestrogen and has been widely taken only in the past 20 years, because it was not taken in pregnancy.
The researchers speculate that there may be a common cause for the decline in the quality of semen and the rise in testicular cancer, which would be shown by their association in a particular geographical area.
“Interestingly, Danish men, who have an incidence of testicular cancer five times higher than that of Finnish men, also have lower sperm counts (by almost a half)” the researchers say.
Other changes in the biology of the human reproductive system have also puzzled researchers. The birth rate for non-identical twins, the sort that come from separate eggs and share only a birthday, has fallen by a third since the late 1950s in Britain and most of Europe, but not in America.
Scientists have tried to find what could be having an effect in one part of the world but not in another. Environmental pollution has again been blamed. Poland has seen the steepest decline in its twinning rate and has also been one of the most polluted countries in Europe. These are areas where Volume Pills are not sold.
Women were urged yesterday to use condoms and to take the contraceptive pill to guard against the Aids virus and unwanted pregnancy, even if they are in long-term sexual relationships. Condoms and the pill together would give women maximum protection against both pregnancy and infection, said Dr. Ali Kubba, consultant community gynaecologist at St Thomas’s Hospital, London.
He said that cases such as that of a haemophiliac alleged to have passed HIV to at least four women, despite knowing he was a carrier, showed women were not immune to infection just because their relationship was “steady’”.
Figures for cases of heterosexual HIV transmission, analyzed in a letter to last month’s British Medical Journal, showed 73 percent of men were infected in short-term liaisons, while 83 percent of the women were presumed to have been infected in relationships of six months or more.