Are Humans On The Edge Of Extinction? Men were twice capable Finelax

Men were twice capable!

According to the hundreds of researches carried out through the past decades, it has shown doubts about humankind’s survival in the future.

Professor Shanna Swan has done many kinds of research in the field of human fertility and human reproduction. She is a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and one of the world’s renowned environmental and reproductive epidemiologists. 

Are Humans On The Edge Of Extinction? Dr. Shanna Swan Photograph Roger Meissen Bond Life Sciences Center Finelax
Photo:  Dr. Shanna Swan Photograph: Roger Meissen, Bond Life Sciences Center
Source: The Guardian

According to her, the sperm concentration of samples which were collected in 2011 from males of western countries was 47 million per one milliliter. But, 39 years earlier the sperm concentration was as high as 99 million per one milliliter, almost twice the sperm concentration of samples from 2011.

The fact is scary as it’s a decline of more than 1% per year. And it would predict between 2011 and 2021 that the sperm concentration would be below 40 million per milliliter. 

The quantity “40 million per milliliter” is significant since it gets progressively difficult for couples to get pregnant if the sperm concentration is below 40 million per milliliter. Can you imagine what kind of a disaster we are facing even without knowing it? That’s why we should act as soon as possible! 

Fertility Crisis

A man’s sperm count now is around half of his grandfather’s. A woman in her twenties is less fertile than her grandmother, who was 35 years old at the time. Many elements have an impact on our worldwide reproductive health. Some of them are linked to lifestyle decisions like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, bad diet plans, and stress. As you can see, these factors can be regulated.

Are Humans On The Edge Of Extinction? Lifestyle decisions like smoking excessive alcohol consumption can lead to infertility Finelax
Photo: Lifestyle decisions like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to infertility.
Photo by ELEVATE from Pexels

Chemicals – Infertility accelerator?

However, there is a whole other category of things that are difficult to regulate. And those are chemicals in our environment that we bring into our homes in the form of items. Chemicals that can disrupt our hormones can be found in practically everything, from food packaging to personal care products.

“Coatings” is a broad category, and you can use Teflon or non-stick to coat a pan. A jacket can be treated with water repellent, and paper can be treated to prevent oil from going through, as in a pizza box. Coatings, for example, are a serious problem since they contain PFAS compounds.

Are Humans On The Edge Of Extinction? Coatings like Teflon or non stick are used to coat pans Finelax
Photo: Coatings like Teflon or non-stick are used to coat pans
Photo by from Pexels

PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) is a per fluorinated carboxylic acid that is generated and used as an industrial surfactant in chemical processes and as a material feedstock all over the world. It’s a product of health concern and subject to regulatory action.

Another important chemical class that is believed to be affecting sexual health is a chemical class that makes plastics soft. These are known as “Phthalates”. Phthalates are found not only in plastic containers but also in cosmetics and almost all scented products. 

Phthalates as a class are called anti-androgens. Wherever they come into contact with testosterone, they tend to lower levels, most notably in the womb during early pregnancy. Low testosterone levels might affect a baby’s anatomical development. Men may acquire smaller genitals as a result of this, which is known as the Phthalate syndrome.

This can result in a lower sperm count. Besides having an impact on sperm count, it can increase the risk of genital defects like undescended testicles. Later this can actually increase the risk of testicular cancer.

Where we live, is a critical factor!

Dr. Swan conducted research with adult men in four sites across the United States in the early 2000s. Pesticides, she discovered, may result in lower-quality sperm.

“We looked at pesticides, metabolites in their urine, and how they related to the sperm count concentration and shape of those sperm. We found that there was a big difference in sperm count and quality. The most dramatic was that men who were living in central Missouri, which is an agricultural area where there’s a lot of corn and soy grown, a lot of pesticides grown, they had only half as many moving sperm as men in Minneapolis. This is huge! Half as many. And they were not workers, they were just residents of the area. “ Shanna Swan said in an interview with the BBC.

The quality of a man’s sperm is a good measure of his fertility. However, it might reveal a lot about a man’s general health.

“A low sperm count is linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, reproductive malignancies, and, ultimately, life expectancy.

Miscarriages can also be caused by abnormal sperm.

Is it always the fault of the lady?

Are Humans On The Edge Of Extinction? Its a shared responsibility Finelax
Photo: It’s a shared responsibility!
Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

It’s often assumed that if a couple can’t get pregnant or if a woman suffers a miscarriage, it’s the lady’s fault. We now understand that it is a shared responsibility. 

A growing number of people are considering sperm storage, egg freezing, and long-term storage. Because we are in the midst of a catastrophe. A big and growing number of children are born as a result of assisted reproduction. Surrogates are being used by an increasing number of people for their pregnancies. We’re already in the midst of a very, very dangerous crisis.

If current trends continue, the majority of couples will have to rely on assisted reproduction to have children. 

Is it unavoidable?

Yes!  There’s still time to turn things around. Low sperm counts can be reversed with a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Shanna Swan suggests the following solutions for men to turn things around.

  • Lowering exposure to unhealthy chemicals by changing shopping habits.
  • Maintaining an optimum BMI value.
  • Quitting/ reducing smoking.
  • Stop/ reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Daily Exercise
  • Having a healthy balanced diet.
  • Drinking enough water. 

We might be able to take steps as individuals to reduce our risk. But lasting change requires better environmental policies, regulations and substitutes by world governments as well.

Dr. Shana Swan further explained that we need to test chemicals before they’re put into the marketplace. Also, we need to test the thousands of chemicals that have never been tested because they have been assumed safe. To be honest, we now know they are not!

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