In its latest epidemiological bulletin, dated July 3, 2017, the French Public Health Agency, addressed the issue of “Reproductive Health and Endocrine Disruptors“.
This alarming report confirms worrisome data on increasing infertility, already published in other reports. The overall results “reflect a generalized deterioration of male reproductive health in France, consistent with the international literature“.
Environmental factors and exposure to toxic substances, such as some endocrine disruptors for example are highly implicated.
Genital malformations, sperm quality, and the incidence of testicular cancers were evaluated.
The quality of semen is in free fall: sperm concentration has dropped by 1.9% annually, or nearly 32.2% in the past 15 years. The number of morphologically normal spermatozoids is also decreasing.
Unfortunately, testicular cancer has been increasing by 1.5% per year. In the male reproductive system, the absence of one or both testicles in small boys has increased in France by 2.6% per year. This is caused by insufficient hormonal permeation into androgen which may result from the mother’s exposure to endocrine disruptors during pregnancy or trans-generational problems, due to toxic substance exposure in previous generations.
The phenomena of early onset of puberty or “precocious puberty”, with its possible negative consequences for health and fertility, have also been observed for several years with a strong regional disparity. This may be caused for multiple reasons, such as genetic or ethnic factors, unrelated to environmental factors.
The causes of infertility are multifaceted and complex. It is essential that studies continue and that they be followed by information and prevention campaigns. This is a major public health issue.