Sperm may be damaged by many factors, more research needed

There are many contributory factors to a decline in the quality and quantity of male sperm production, but sadly many of those are still unknown.

While it can be easy to point to various lifestyle issues such as smoking, and some research has identified soya in the diet as a detrimental factor, there’s no definitive list and more research is needed.

A huge (and frankly depressing) list of potentially harmful factors is as follows:

  • Occupational: Chemicals such as heavy metals, solvents, fumes (welding fumes).
  • Physical agents: Heat, vibration, extremes in temperature and pressure.
  • Radiation: Radiation and electromagnetic radiation (cell phones).
  • Lifestyle: Cigarette smoking.
  • Infection: Chlamydia trachomatis, a common sexually transmitted disease.
  • Pollutants: PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls). PCBs were banned by the EPA in 1979, but exist in the environment including landfills, lakes and streams.

Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the California Teratogen Information Service Pregnancy Health Information Line, said, “Dad is sometimes an afterthought when it comes to pregnancy. But the bottom line is it’s often just as important to consider dad’s impact on a developing baby before, during and after pregnancy as it is mom’s.”