Doctors Say That Swiss Men Have the Worst Sperm in Europe

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Several studies have recently emerged showing that sperm counts are (way) down in industrialized countries across the board. Now, scientists have published the results of a study that shows sperm counts in Switzerland are particularly low – the worst in all of Europe.

The study looked at the sperm quality of 2523 Swiss men between the ages of 18-22 – a time when sperm counts should be at their highest – and found that not only were their numbers low, but their sperm was poor quality in other areas, like motility and morphology of cells.

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With the average healthy sperm count ranging from 41 to 67 million per milliliter, Switzerland’s average of 47 million per ml puts them in the rock bottom of European countries. Not only that, but 17% of the participants had numbers below 15 million per ml, which is what scientists define as “subfertile.”

More troubling, less than 40% of the sperm were motile, and 43% of the men had a very small quantity of normally formed sperm – only 38% of the Swiss men tested met the WHO’s criteria for “healthy” sperm.

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All of these negative factors would definitely combine to impact a man’s fertility and his ability to easily conceive with a healthy partner.

What scientists don’t know is why the quality of Swiss men’s sperm is so poor. The working theories range from the men having mothers who smoked while they were pregnant to more common culprits like that the men themselves were drinkers, overweight, over-stressed, or exposed to pesticides.

Poor sperm quality has been shown to impact more than a man’s ability to procreate; it’s been linked to a higher chance for testicular cancer, as well.

“For 35 years, testicular cancer has grown steadily to over 10 cases per 100,000 men, which is very high compared to other European countries,” noted one of the study’s authors. “Sperm quality is generally lower in countries where the incidence of testicular cancer is high.”

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Countries like Spain and Finland have far fewer instances of testicular cancer, and the men there also tend to have healthier sperm.

Scientists are interested to explore the connection further so that they can really understand why Swiss men are struggling with poor sperm and low fertility more than the similar countries around them.

Right now, though, it’s just not the best list to be at the end of, I don’t think.

But I guess someone has to be last.