Sperm counts among men in industrialised countries have fallen drastically over the past few decades, according to a recent study in the journal Human Reproduction Update.
Urologist and sexual health expert Dr Shingai Mutambirwa says the reasons for the decrease in male fertility can be applied in developing nations too.
Sperm count is the amount of sperm in the semen released in one ejaculation, Dr Shingai explains.
According to the doctor, a sperm count of below 40 or 50 million sperm can mean that a man is subfertile or unable to have babies.
Subfertility is the condition of being less than normally fertile.
Usually, men have anywhere between 50 and 250 million sperm in our ejaculate, which is typically between half a milliliter and six milliliters, each time a guy ejaculates.— Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, urologist and sexual health expert
He explains that the both sperm count and quality of sperm are important.
Dr Shingai advises that there are several factors which affect sperm count, including:
- hormone-disrupting chemicals
- global health
He explains that endocrine disruptors - chemicals that can interfere with hormone systems - can affect fertility and predisposition to hypertension, cancers and diabetes.
Smoking is definitely one of the causes of decreased fertility.— Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, urologist and sexual health expert
Be careful about what you take in. Avoid plastic-bottled things, don't drink from cans and be more careful about using plastic containers when heating up things in the microwave.— Dr Shingai Mutambirwa, urologist and sexual health expert
He offered advice on how to address fertility issues and answered other questions related to reproductive health.
Take a listen to his expert insights: