Wednesday, 30 November 2022 05:45

Human extinction may be inevitable due to recent physiological change in men - Report

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Men are producing fewer sperm all over the world. According to a recent study published in the academic journal Human Reproduction Update, men of all demographics are seeing a significant enough reduction in sperm count that scientists are calling for awareness. If this reduction continues at its current pace it could lead to human extinction.

The study is a meta-analysis, which means that it examines relevant data from other studies to hone in on a specific phenomenon. In this case, the data looked at men’s average sperm counts from 1973 to 2018 in two separate meta-analyses that account for all races and ethnicities. Low sperm counts could lead to human extinction because it means there is less likelihood that their partners will become pregnant, thereby reducing the population.

According to the study, men have seen an overall reduction of 1.2 percent in average sperm count each year from 1973 to 1999. That accelerated after 2000 to 2.6 percent per year on average. It is important to note that, while human extinction is a possibility because this is a mass-scale phenomenon, the numbers reflect an average across demographics rather than an individual’s reduction.

What this means is that, while some men’s sperm counts may have remained stable or risen, enough men have seen this reduction that it is a global phenomenon. It is not just happening to certain demographics, but happening to everyone, which points to a globalized cause. The researchers behind the study urged for a policy that seeks out answers to why this potential human extinction event may be happening.

Lowered sperm counts are often an indication of wider health issues, leading the researchers to conclude that finding the root causes may be tied to a closer examination of men’s health. “We urgently call for global action to promote healthier environments for all species and reduce exposures and behaviors that threaten our reproductive health,” warned lead researcher Professor Hagai Levine from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Hadassah Braun School of Public Health.

With overpopulation a concern in many urban areas and global climate change also a factor in human extinction, fertility studies seem superfluous to some. There are a lot of fertility treatments, most of which focus on eggs since women produce them at a much lower rate than men produce sperm. Sperm has been stored for use in fertilization and even created in labs, and since men can produce so much of it, it doesn’t seem like a priority to understand why they are not producing more.

However, it is not only the future of fertility and avoiding human extinction that is at stake. Finding out why men are experiencing this reduction in sperm counts is important because it affects men’s health in other ways. Some known causes of lower sperm counts include diabetes, depression, drinking, drugs, and obesity.

The goal, then, is just as much to ensure that the men of the world can live healthy lives where they can be treated for these underlying causes. Millions of boys have been born since 1973 and are subject to the steeper declines in their sperm counts that are symptoms of these underlying conditions. If future human extinction isn’t enough reason to look for the root causes, we should at least do it for the men already in our world.