Low sperm quality may lead to ART surge

A cross-sectional study of 4867 young men with a median age of 19 found a statistically significant increase in median sperm concentration and total sperm count. However, only 23% had optimal sperm concentration of more than 40 million/ml and more than 9% normal forms.

The median percentage of abnormal spermatozoa was as high as 93% with no sign of improvement during the 15-year study period.

“One-in-four will most likely face a prolonged waiting time to pregnancy if they in the future want to father a child and another 15% are at risk of the need of fertility treatment.

“Reduced semen quality seems so frequent that it may impair the fertility rates and further increase the demand for assisted reproduction,” the authors said.

They said severe fertility problems may be present when sperm concentration was below 15 million/ml and the percentage of normal spermatozoa was less than 5%, which was the case for 15% and 35%