On July 15, 2013 the Wall Street Journal published an article reviewing the alleged decline of male fertility. Reporting from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual meeting on July 7-10, 2013 in London, journalist Shirley S. Wang concludes that according to the experts, a fertility crisis is afoot. Daily exposures to chemicals, including the food contact substance bisphenol A, may contribute to the sperm crisis. According to Joëlle Le Moal, epidemiologist at the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance and co-author of a recent study on male fertility in France reported on by the FPF, male fertility is a “public health indicator” potentially affecting the next generation’s health. Stefan Schlatt, director of the Center of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology at the University of Münster, Germany believes that the data on declining fertility is at best unclear. The validity of study results has been primarily questioned on the grounds that study populations may not be representative. Yet, Richard Sharpe, researcher from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, UK, argues that findings from coordinated studies across Northern Europe support the conclusion of decreasing male fertility. Sertoli cells, which support sperm cells during growth and proliferate in the 12 months around a male child’s birth, may be key. Sharpe contends that therefore mothers’ lifestyle during pregnancy plays an important role minimizing a child’s risk of future disease and compromised fertility.
FPF article “What are the reasons for declining fertility in men?”