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Sperm counts down

(68 Posts)
Bags Wed 05-Dec-12 08:31:36

Apparently sperm counts are falling. While I think this needs to be investigated to find out why it is happening, should we really be pleased if human fertility falls a bit? It's not as if, just at the moment, there is any threat to the reproductive success of the species. It seems to me that, given a global population of over seven billion, in general terms reduced fertility might not be a bad thing. Perhaps we have been too fertile up to now.

That said, on an individual level, it would be troubling.

Nothing is ever simple.

Greatnan Wed 05-Dec-12 09:27:12

For too long many people have assumed that if a couple who want a child fail to procreate, the woman must be blameworthy. I believe the actual statistics are closer to 50:50. Men do seem to take it as a personal insult to their manhood to be told they have a low sperm count.
I believe the reproductive rate in the UK is now 1.7 children per couple, which is below the rate needed to sustain the current population levels, but whether that is due to lifestyle choice, economics, or health reasons we have no way of knowing. Net immigration has also fallen, as the UK is no longer seen as Eldorado. Perhaps the spectre of over-population is about to be vanquished.
I do wonder if whatever is affecting sperm count could be having some effect on other bodily systems, so some urgent research is needed.

JessM Wed 05-Dec-12 09:28:45

In France anyway.
And they do still have a gadzillion going to waste every day.
But maybe their lab methods could have changed over time?
Do us grans give a t***? grin

Greatnan Wed 05-Dec-12 09:34:17

Yes, I have five grandsons, one of whom already has two children , one who never wants children, and three who look forward to having them some day.
I am interested in anything that might affect the health and happiness of any of my family. From a purely scientific point of view, surely we must be curious about something so radical?
And, as I mentioned, whatever is affecting sperm could be affecting other things.

absentgrana Wed 05-Dec-12 09:36:29

But this research isn't talking about commonly accepted infertility levels; just lower levels than they used to be. Nor is it suggesting that levels will continue to fall.

They should all eat more oysters – that will solve the problem.

jO5 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:37:58

Put 'em all back in saggy white y-fronts.

jO5 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:38:58

(more air gets in there then. especially when bits fall out the side)

jO5 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:39:56

Bags! I'm not trivialising your thread! shock It is actually a valid point.

Bags Wed 05-Dec-12 09:45:32

I know, jings, and, as you know, I value you input highly wink.

Bags Wed 05-Dec-12 09:46:38

Besides, it isn't my thread. Once I've pressed the "post message" button, it belongs to everyone on gransnet smile

Elegran Wed 05-Dec-12 09:47:53

Yes Jings is making a valid point. The testes need to be coolish to make viable sperm. That is one reason why the kilt is traditionally worn with nothing underneath. (The other reason is to intrigue Sassenach tourists)

absentgrana Wed 05-Dec-12 09:50:16

P.s. Oysters are a good source of zinc, essential for male fertility.

jO5 Wed 05-Dec-12 09:56:18

Elegran grin

Oldgreymare Wed 05-Dec-12 10:28:59

I seem to remember something about nitrates in water courses (increased use of chemical fertilizers, run off etc etc) causing a problem in fish. (Again I think it was found that some male fish were changing sex.)
C'mon Jess have I remembered correctly.

Elegran Wed 05-Dec-12 14:42:57

I think something in some plastics could be to blame too.

JessM Wed 05-Dec-12 15:15:02

I think it was female hormones ogm that you are thinking about.
"The pill" leads to the excretion of female hormones. In somewhere like London where the water has been extracted, used, treated and re-extracted several times then there are measurable amounts on the drinking water.

absentgrana Wed 05-Dec-12 17:41:11

I think you may be referring to phthalates Elegran.

Elegran Wed 05-Dec-12 17:51:48

That sounds right.

absentgrana Wed 05-Dec-12 17:52:52

Actually it sounds very odd. grin

janeainsworth Wed 05-Dec-12 17:53:45

This is from the Daily Mail today

Scroll down to clingfilm.
Interestingly I bought some loose cheese in Waitrose yesterday and the assistant said they are not allowed to use clingfilm now and wrapped it in paper.

There is also evidence that Bis-GMA resins used in some dental filling materials can cause lowering of sperm counts in laboratory mice.

Bags Wed 05-Dec-12 18:04:02

I never knew lab mice got dental fillings! Blimey, the things you learn on gransnet! wink

JessM Wed 05-Dec-12 18:29:31

Dear heaven one does admire the skills of some scientists. What kind of fine control would you have to have to do a dental filling on a mouse?
There was an interesting bit of research on stem cells in mouse milk and I thought..."they've been milking mice" WOW!

Elegran Wed 05-Dec-12 18:34:35

absent It sounds unpronouncable! Like a word in a reading test I had once at the age of about 9 - phthisis! I've since disovered that it is another word for TB, but at the time it was completely alien to me.

Apparently phthalates is pronounced tha-lerts ignoring the ph altogether, phthisis can be tie-sis or thigh-sis. Should we ever need to say either of them out loud we now know how to.

absentgrana Wed 05-Dec-12 19:44:11

Elegran Thanks – I think. hmm

Greatnan Wed 05-Dec-12 20:46:55

Blimey, Elegran, that was some reading test for a nine year old!