Air Pollution May Reduce Your Sperm Count

air pollution sperm count

Trending News: Study suggests poor air quality may be bad for your sperm

If you are a man trying to make a baby or just a guy who wants to live healthier, we’ve got some unfortunate news. According to research being presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting on March 25, polluted air may harm your sperm count.

Investigators looked at particulate matter (PM) in mice to assess how pollution affected male reproductive parts. In a nutshell, PM is a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that is found in the air we breathe.

PM2.5 is a tiny inhalable particle that measures 2.5 micrometers or smaller. To give you an idea of how minuscule these particles are, a human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter.

Tiny as they may be, PM2.5 is known to interfere with the endocrine system in animals, including humans. Wondering what the endocrine system is? Simply put, it’s a bodily system involved in reproduction.

More: Learn what’s in semen

Yep, it’s partly responsible for helping to churn out your man-juice.

For this study, scientists examined four groups of mice. One group was exposed to dirty air particulates before and after birth – right after being weaned off their mother’s milk until they reached adulthood.

The second group of mice were exposed to the particulates only during gestation (meaning while they were in the womb). Group three got exposed from after the time they were born until adulthood. Finally, the fourth group was exposed during gestation but through filtered air.

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To assess results, investigators analyzed the testes of the mice and their sperm production. They also used DNA tests to evaluate gene expression.

The results showed that the tubes in the testes that are responsible for making sperm were deteriorated. When compared to a group of mice not exposed to PM2.5, the deterioration was significantly worse.

Apparently, being exposed to PM2.5 after birth was the most harmful to the reproductive system, according to the study.

In a press release, researcher Elaine Maria Frade Costa, M.D., Ph.D., of Sao Paulo University in Brazil said the following:

“Infertility rates are increasing around the world, and air pollution may be one of the main factors.” She also added, “These findings provide more evidence that governments need to implement public policies to control air pollution in big cities.”

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 15% of the world’s population struggles with fertility. Men make up about half of that number.

This investigation is one of the first to reveal how air quality in a large metropolitan area can impair the production of sperm through epigenetics; a $10.00 term used to describe changes in genes not attributable to alterations in DNA sequencing.

“These findings provide more evidence that governments need to implement public policies to control air pollution in big cities,” Costa said.

Well, there you have it. The results seem to suggest that poor air quality may be bad for the reproductive system, at least in male mice.

Is it really that difficult to imagine how dirty air impacts humans?

About John Lannoye 177 Articles
John Lannoye is editor and founder of Men's Variety. Based in Chicago, he blogs on topics related to health, grooming, wellness, relationships and men's grooming. Follow him on Twitter.