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Significant Decline in Sperm Motility Among Danish Sperm Donors

IVF.net Newsdesk

24 June 2024

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A recent study has revealed a significant decline in sperm motility among men applying to be sperm donors at a prominent Danish sperm bank, Cryos International. The study, conducted from 2017 to 2022, observed a notable decrease in both motile sperm concentration and total motile sperm count (TMSC), shedding light on potential implications for human fertility and sperm donor recruitment.

The research analyzed semen samples from 6758 donor candidates aged 18 to 45, collected at sperm bank locations in Aarhus, Aalborg, Copenhagen, and Odense. Despite minor year-to-year variations in semen volume, sperm concentration, and total sperm count, a significant decline in motile sperm concentration and TMSC was evident from 2019 to 2022. Specifically, motile sperm concentration decreased by 16%, and TMSC declined by 22%.

This decline in semen quality among donor candidates is concerning, as motile sperm concentration is a crucial selection criterion for sperm donor acceptance due to its impact on fertility. The study controlled for variables such as age, donation site, and average monthly high temperature, ensuring the reliability of the findings. Notably, the observed decline coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that changes in lifestyle during this period may have influenced sperm quality.

The study also examined data from 1839 accepted donors who provided multiple semen samples during the same period. The results were consistent with the donor candidate data, showing similar trends in declining sperm motility. This decline was observed in both grade A and grade B sperm, indicating an overall reduction in the population of motile sperm rather than a decrease in sperm swimming speed.

These findings underscore the importance of continuous monitoring of semen quality in populations of sperm donors. Gathering health and lifestyle data on donor candidates could help identify causal factors for the decline in sperm quality, potentially leading to personalized interventions to optimize ejaculate quality. This research has significant implications for those involved in medically assisted reproduction and highlights the need for further investigation into the external factors affecting sperm motility.

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Date Added: 24 June 2024   Date Updated: 24 June 2024
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