For obvious reasons, us women are attracted to sperm. In my case, I am dedicated to the study of sterility, so lets say it’s a healthy attraction. For this reason, I have pushed my sterility team to investigate male infertility for ten years.
Institut Marquès has been studying the quality of Spanish males’ sperm since 2002. First, in Tarragona, in a study presented at the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society) Congress, and then in Barcelona and Corunna in a study published in Reproductive Biomedicine. Finally in the whole country (I national study of youth’s sperm quality published in Andrologia and in collaboration with 62 reproduction centers).
We are proud that we have contributed in refuting previous misconceptions about causes for male infertility; (stress, tight trousers, alcohol, etc) they are all myths. The underlying cause are chemical toxics. Industrial contamination is playing a key role in this game.
These toxics are synthesized chemical products made by men, and regularly used in industry, agriculture and at home. They are called endocrine disruptors, a long list of compounds that in the female organism act as estrogens.
They are very resistant to biodegradation and can be found in our diet as well as in the atmosphere. They pile up in our organism, especially in fats, as we are not designed to eliminate them.
Our first contact with these chemicals takes place during the embryonic stage, as they are passed through the blood and placenta from mother to son. The type and level of toxics transmitted depends on the level of toxics that the mother has accumulated.
Currently there is debate on appropriate diets for pregnant women, yet the real issue is not what she eats but what has she been exposed to ever since her childhood, even since her intra-uterine life.
These toxics are absorbed and act as estrogens, or female hormones. During the fetus’ testicular development, the first 2-3 months are vital for testosterone, the male hormone, to act. The problem is that these false estrogens compete with testosterone and don’t let it function properly, thus producing less productive sperm cells and, in extreme cases, even causing chromosomic (genetic) alterations in them.
This is especially happening in industrialized areas and in rural areas that are in contact with pesticides. According to our data, the amount of ejaculation of a Galician male is double than that of a Catalan.
Also, it’s more apparent in young people than in older, as these toxics weren’t present during their childhood.
Once they become adults, this will be a main cause of subfertility in the general population. It doesn’t mean they will be sterile, but it will take them more time to achieve a pregnancy, depending on the age and fertility of their partner.
Individually, it’s a cause of sterility or repeated miscarriages.
According to official data, the main cause for sterility in Spain is the male factor, despite being the country where people have children at latter ages.
We have achieved many progresses in health yet in reproductive health, the level of sperm quality has halved form one generation to another in industrialized areas.
Currently, more experts are complaining about the effects of toxic chemicals for reproductive health.