The above figure shows what the studies have analyzed about declining male fertility from time to time.
The causes behind unhealthy and less motile sperm:
- Environmental toxicity affecting reproduction
It has been known for decades that any toxicity or pollution in the environment can cause a hormonal imbalance. Essentially, the use of excessive chemicals is the leading cause behind declining fertility.
Some chemicals responsible for this imbalance are known by the name of endocrine disrupters. Their work is to imitate the original hormones of the body and cause disruption in the fragile hormonal balance. The problems caused by these endocrine disrupters are dangerous to the physical and emotional health of humans (the leading being, male infertility). They adversely affect testosterone and semen health. If the scientists try to treat the harmful effects caused by them, it is not very feasible for the common man.
Air pollution is another leading cause behind declining reproductive health. There are various gases that are released when the air is polluted in cities. They contribute to abnormal sperm quality. Some of these gases are particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide.
The radiation from screens (laptops, mobile screens) contributes to declining sperm counts, impaired sperm motility, and abnormal sperm shape.
Other than this, heavy metals like cadmium, lead and arsenic also harm sperm health. They are used regularly in water, food, and cosmetics.
- Effect of unregulated chemicals in male infertility
The testing of chemicals for human health and the environment is not as strong as the development, thus, it bears hazards to health.
According to the WHO, around 800 harmful compounds are found to be capable of disrupting the hormonal balance. But unfortunately, only a few of them have been tested. These chemicals are launched in the market for rapid growth and development, with minimal testing. They are only taken down from the market, as and when some harmful effect is analyzed. This process takes decades and in the meantime, they cause the harm which they are capable of, steadily.
The future ahead:
The alarming rate of increase in male infertility is a cause of alertness for everyone. They need to come in minimal contact with the problems mentioned above, to curtail the infertility rate. Also, public awareness, advocacy of reproductive health from time to time, and open discussions regarding it are important for the future.