Health & Fitness

Oh no - we're running out of sperm!

A report has found that sperm counts have been falling in the West over the last 40 years

We know what you're thinking - this CAN'T be real.

But it's actually true.

A study has found that sperm rates have been falling over the last 40 years or so.

The amount of "swimmers" produced by men in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand has taken a massive 59.3% drop between 1973 and 2011 - and apparently, it's mainly down to environmental chemicals.

Don't panic, but it sounds like we're running out of sperm (Credit: Getty Images)

Ooh 'eck.

Dr Hagai Levine, who works at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, co-led the study which has been printed in the Human Reproduction Update journal, calling the findings an "urgent wake-up call".

He said: "Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species."

The study concluded that there was "no evidence of a 'leveling off' in recent years".

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It read: "These findings strongly suggest a significant decline in male reproductive health, which has serious implications beyond fertility concerns."

It also found that this may have something to do with mothers who smoke during pregnancy: "Maternal smoking during critical windows of male reproductive development may play a role in prenatal life."

But we spoke to one doctor who corroborated this, and we have to say we're a little concerned.

Chrysa Karakosta, Lab Director at Newlife IVF Greece, said: "Indeed we see a decline in sperm parameters over the years. This has mainly to do with modern lifestyle which is associated with unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, smoking and increased alcohol intake. All of these are key factors that negatively affect the sperm.

"This is also a reason why we see an increase in fertility treatments and the need to use techniques like ICSI (part of IVF). However, nowadays there are many treatments and options for couples and hence we just need to perform tests to foresee any issues that may arise when trying for a baby."

Could this mean we're literally going extinct?

Well... Probably not.

What do you think about the findings? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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