Though the world population seems to be increasing by leaps and bounds, there is a general concern about the dropping fertility rates in men. So, is the sperm quality of men today really at a risk?
To understand whether the sperm quality is on a decline or not, one must understand what sperm quality is and what affects it.
What defines Sperm Quality?
The ability of the sperm to accomplish fertility is known as sperm quality. Both quantity and quality of semen is important when it comes to measuring the male fertility rate. Any decrease in the sperm quality, irrespective of the quantity, can result in infertility. One can do a number of tests, such as semen analysis test, to find out their sperm quality, in turn getting an idea of how fertile they are.
Factors that cause a decline in sperm quality
There are a large number of factors that can easily affect the sperm quality in men. Some of the major determining factors are:
1. Age - Though there is no age limit for a man to father a child, but as men grow older, there is a significant drop in sperm quality as sperm motility decreases with age.
2. Heat - Sperms are highly heat sensitive, so at high or very low temperatures, the quality of sperms decline.
3. Diet - Having an unhealthy diet based on junk food does decrease sperm quality dramatically, primarily due to the unhealthy levels of chemicals added to the food.
4. Smoking - Smoking tobacco, as well as cannabis, reduces sperm quality.
5. Chemicals - Chemicals, whether taken intentionally or unintentionally, can cause a decline in sperm quality. Chemicals such as endocrine disruptors can cause severe hormonal changes that can change the sperm quality in any healthy male.
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