I don’t mean to alarm you, but the dystopian ‘never gonna actually happen’ future of The Handmaid’s Tale might actually be closer than we all think, with an Australian study showing that male sperm counts are dramatically on the decline.
Published in the Human Reproduction Update this week, the study finds that thanks to rising obesity rates and poor lifestyle choices the sperm counts of Australian men are now half of what they have been in previous generations.
The 50 per cent drop over 40 years has also been recorded in North America and Europe. No significant decline was seen in South America, Asia and Africa.
Not to get too Sons of Jacob on you, but seriously, THIS IS HOW IT STARTS.
According to Australian reproductive expert Kelton Tremellen, Professor of Reproductive Medicine at Flinders University, the findings need to be a "wake-up call" to men everywhere. says the paper confirms previous observations and should act as a "wake-up call" to men.
"Poor diet and lack of exercise, both endemic in the western world, has resulted in two-thirds of men being overweight or obese, and obesity is known to be a significant risk factor for both low testosterone levels and sperm count," he said.
"By maintaining a healthy weight, plus eating plenty of good foods like fish, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, while avoiding high-fat and sugary foods, will help maintain both a healthy sperm count and good overall health," Tremellen concluded.
"Given the importance of sperm counts for male fertility and human health, this study is an urgent wake-up call for researchers and health authorities around the world to investigate the causes of the sharp ongoing drop in sperm count, with the goal of prevention," Dr Hagai Levine, the lead author of the findings agreed.
Yeah, and then women can avoid the whole being-used-as-baby-incubator-vessels-for-Commanders-of-Gilead thing, which seems pretty cool.