Swiss young men’s semen quality in ‘critical state’


London, May 22 (IANS) Most young men in Switzerland have poor semen quality, a key determinant of male fertility, reveals a new study. Only 38 per cent of the Swiss men have semen values above the norms set by World Health Organisation (WHO) for fertile men, says the study published in the journal Andrology.

“The results suggest the sperm quality of young men in Switzerland is in a critical state and that their future fertility will in all likelihood be affected,” said co-author of the study Alfred Senn from University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland.

It’s a matter of concern since the poor semen quality of Swiss men is associated with an increase in the incidence of testicular cancer.

Semen quality is defined by three parameters — the sperm concentration (number of sperm per ml), their motility and morphology. Sperm counts vary from country to country, with median concentrations ranging between 41 million per ml and 67 million per ml for young European men.

The researchers conducted the study on the quality of Swiss sperm by analysing the profile of 2,523 young men aged 18-22 years, as part of their military recruitment.

Based on the WHO thresholds established in 2010, the results of the study indicate 17 per cent of young men had sperm concentration below 15 million per ml and 25 per cent had less than 40 per cent motile spermatozoa in their ejaculate, the study said.

The study as a whole revealed at least one of the three parameters (concentration, motility and morphology) was below the WHO thresholds for 60 per cent of men.

“Low semen parameters values can reflect a man’s fertility, when a combination of values are low, a man’s ability to conceive is at risk,” said the study’s first author Rita Rahban from University of Geneva.