An article published on December 10, 2015 by the news provider Science Daily reports on a scientific review linking environmental exposures arising from modern lifestyle to increasingly poor male reproductive health and in turn to increasing infertility in industrialized countries. The review was published in the peer-reviewed journal Physiological Reviews and undertaken by fertility researchers Niels E. Skakkebaek and colleagues from different universities and medical institutions in Denmark, Finland, and the U.S.. Skakkebaek and colleagues reviewed links between total fertility rates (TFR) and trends in various male reproductive problems, such as testicular cancer, hypospadias, low testosterone levels, and poor semen quality. They provide evidence that several of these reproductive problems arise in utero from environmental exposures of the fetal testes. The authors conclude that in addition to genetics, environmental factors play an important role in the rapid increase of male genital disorders and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are considered main suspects for inducing the observed effects. The researchers are alarmed by the declining fertility rates observed in industrialized countries and urge for more research in reproductive medicine to understand and tackle the problem.
Science Daily (December 10, 2015). “Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be threatening fertility in industrialized countries.”
Skakkebaek, N.E. et al. (2016). “Male reproductive disorders and fertility trends: Influences of environment and genetic susceptibility.” Physiological Reviews 96(1): 55-97.