Male fertility: is there a threat of a sperm apocalypse?

Male fertility: is there a threat of a sperm apocalypse?


Hardly any measurement in medicine is as unstandardized as the spermiogram, says andrologist Dolores Lamb. © L. Souci/​BSIP/​imago images

These are worrying findings: the number of sperm cells worldwide has decreased rapidly, the authors found Meta-study in the past year. In 2018, men had on average only half as many sperm in their ejaculate as in 1973 – recently the decline has even accelerated. So is humanity at risk of infertility?

Tom Kattwinkel, editor in the health department at ZEIT ONLINE, investigated this question. In the new ZEIT-Wissen podcast, he takes us through the study situation – and what it means for today’s men. Israeli epidemiologist Hagai Levine, who co-led the study, explains why he worries about not being able to become a grandfather. Urology professor Dolores Lamb, on the other hand, criticizes the conclusions: Hardly any other measurement in medicine is as unstandardized as the spermiogram. Nobody knows whether the sperm count really decreases.

And in the impossible column, Christoph Drösser examines the question of why more and more men have erection problems (21:29).

Show notes:

We welcome criticism, praise and topic requests [email protected].





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