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Researchers in Israel pooled data from almost 200 studies of male fertility and found that sperm counts among men in high-income countries, including Australia, have dropped by about 60% in the past four decades.

It is not yet possible to say whether this will impact on natural conception rates but it is concerning because lower sperm counts are related to poorer general health. Experts believe that increasing rates of obesity and exposure to environmental chemicals may be reasons for declining sperm counts.

Health professionals suggest that men should aim to be in the healthy weight range, eat plenty of good nutritious food such as fish, nuts, and fresh fruit and vegetables and reduce their intake of sugary and fatty foods to improve general health and sperm health. Men who combine a healthy diet with regular physical exercise should find their overall health and sperm count are likely to improve. And for those who smoke, quitting will boost fertility!

While exposure to chemicals is inevitable in modern life, limiting exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), a class of chemicals which can affect sperm, will also help reduce the risk of low sperm count.

More information about how men can optimise their fertility and general health can be found at the below links:

Sperm Fertility Conception Obesity Environment Nutrition Lifestyle Men's Health