Is Sleep Apnea Related to the 'Sperm Crisis'?

December 13, 2014 4:23 PM

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The past decade or so has seen the development a worrisome trend in fertility studies -- evidence that suggests the possibility of broad declines in male sperm quality. In particular, a French study released in 2012 found significant declines in sperm quality among French men over a 17-year period between 1989 and 2005. The average age of the men in the study was 34-36 years old over the duration of the study period. During this nearly two-decade timeframe, average sperm concentration fell an alarming 32 percent. This isn't the only study to identify widespread decreases in sperm quality -- other investigations worldwide have returned similar results. But this latest research elevated the sense of alarm over the public health ramifications of potentially diminished fertility in men, and led many to wonder whether we're facing a "sperm crisis."

If the sperm studies are in fact representative of a downward trend in male fertility, the question becomes: Why? What's behind the widespread decrease in sperm quality? There's not likely to be a single culprit, nor a simple answer. Results of a newly-released study suggest an intriguing possibilit...

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