Researchers claim that the Western lifestyle has more than halved the sperm count of men in the US, Europe and Australia since the 1970s.
Researchers at Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai looked at 185 studies collected between 1973 and 2011 regarding sperm count and concentration in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
They found 59.3 percent average decline in total sperm count and a 52.4 percent average decline in sperm concentration among these men.
“The decline we report here is consistent with reported trends in other male reproductive health indicators, such as testicular germ cell tumoUrs, cryptorchidism, onset of male puberty and total testosterone levels. The public health implications are even wider. Recent studies have shown that poor sperm count is associated with overall morbidity and mortality,” said the report.
Lead researcher Dr Hagai Levine told the BBC that he was “very worried” about what might happen in the future.
Dr Levine, an epidemiologist, said that if the trend continued humans would become extinct.
“If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and the chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future,” he said.
“Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species.”