The growing mass of research pointing at the decline in the quality of Israeli male semen is joined recently by a study conducted at the Hadassah University Hospital-Mt. Scopus, which found a 15-year decline in the quality of semen donated by Israeli sperm donors.
The study looked at several factors of 2,182 sperm samples gathered in the hospital between 1995 and 2009, given by 58 healthy 20- to 37-year-olds, mostly students, that provided weekly samples for limited periods.
Determined by the sperm count and motility (sperm’s ability to swim forward), the researchers report that in 2009, 38 percent of sperm donors were rejected where as in 1995 only 33 percent were rejected this is despite the fact that the criteria for accepting sperm samples was made less strict in 2009. Were the stringent procedures kept in place, 88 percent of the candidates for sperm donation would have been turned down.
The concentration of sperm samples declined in the study’s timeframe by 36 percent from an average of 106 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate to 68 million in 2009. In addition, sperm motility declined from 79 percent in 1995 to 66 percent in 2009.
In the last cohort of sperm donors, only 18 percent provided sperm samples that would be accepted under the regulations of the 1990s; 88 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate and motility of at least 73 percent.
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