In the last 10 years, sperm count in Nigerian men had reduced by 37 per cent, and having a far-reaching effect on infertility and its treatment, a study has reported.
In a new study, expert observed a significant drop in sperm counts from 34.6 to 21.8 × 106/ml in healthy men who sought fertility treatment at the Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos during the 10-year period.
Researchers said that although the motility and semen volume were similar in the two groups, the percentage of motile sperms had reduced by five per cent over the period.
For the study, the researchers analysed and compared semen results of 100 consecutive men in 2003 with that of another 100 men in 2013. The men, who were of similar ages and have similar occupations, resided majorly in Lagos area.
The 2017 study in Nigerian Medical Journal was entitled “Are semen parameters worsening? Comparing semen parameters 10 years apart.”
The researchers said that although the cause of declining male fertility is yet to be identified, it is likely that environmental factors and lifestyle changes as well as infections of the male reproductive organs, especially s3xually transmitted ones, may play a role.
“Nigeria has become relatively more industrialised and civilised over time with more affluence and change in diet and lifestyle generally. Factors such as obesity and its effect on male fertility cannot be ignored as sedentary lifestyles have become more common.
“Lagos is also an overpopulated city with traffic congestions, air pollution, and stress. The use of medications, especially herbal concoctions, is relatively common among men in Lagos, especially those trying to conceive.
“The findings from our study may have resulted in the rise in male infertility that has been noticed for some time now. In our centre, up to 50 per cent of cases of infertility have a male factor contribution,” they declared.
While the study corroborated the rise in male infertility that has been noticed for some time now, they added “these findings could have far-reaching effects on male fertility, infertility, and its treatment.”
They, however, said that further studies on semen parameters that had ruled out participants’ specific occupations, exposures, lifestyles, and diet need to be conducted in the general population to ensure where possible preventive measures can be put in place to stem this trend.
Infertility can be a distressing and frustrating problem for men and their partners. Male infertility is rising alarmingly. Regrettably in some parts of the world, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, much of the blame of infertility is placed squarely on the female.
Worldwide, sperm counts are estimated to have dropped by 50 per cent since the 1930s. But, the cause of rising male infertility is not clearly known.