The article, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update in November 2022 by an international team of researchers, reviewed 2,936 scholarly abstracts and 868 full articles and analysed data from 38 sperm count studies done on six continents, updating their landmark study of 2017.
The 2017 study found sperm counts had fallen in North America, Europe, and Australia by over 50 % in a fifty-year span. The current study updated this data as well as added data from South/Central America, Asia, and Africa.
The analysis found that while sperm counts had declined at the average rate per year of 1.16 % between 1972 and 2000, the rate of decline since 2000 has increased to an average of 2.64 % per year. Experts believe the problem is a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which interfere with the body’s hormones.