Fears grow over men's fertility

A study has found that the quality of sperm produced by Swiss men is unexpectedly low.

This content was published on April 9, 2008 minutes

The study has so far tested 800 volunteers in western and eastern Switzerland when they were called up for military service. It investigated the number, mobility and speed of their sperm. In more than half the men at least one of the parameters was found to be lower than the international norm.

The researchers have no explanation for the result, which is much worse than they expected.

The study is part of the national research programme on endocrine disruptors, launched about two and a half years ago. Endocrine disruptors are artificial chemicals which disrupt hormonal activity.

Eventually some 3000 men will be tested throughout the country. The aim is to determine sperm quality by region in order to discover evidence of damaging environmental factors.

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