Male reproductive health

Male reproductive health has been declining since World War II in many European countries. With the current trend for couples to have children later in life, lower sperm quality combined with the declining fertility of older women is impairing spontaneous conceptions and reducing the couple’s fertility, resulting in significant social and financial challenges for modern societies. The drop in semen quality occurs over a short timescale which suggests that the causes must be lifestyle and environmental rather than genetics.

Although these conditions may have a genetic or epigenetic origin, there is growing evidence that multiple environmental and lifestyle factors can act alone or in combination to induce adverse effects. Exposure to these factors may occur as early as during fetal life, via the mother, and directly throughout adulthood after full spermatogenic capacity is reached. 

We are currently investigating the associations between environmental/lifestyle factors on semen quality and reproductive hormones. It includes:

  • effect of maternal occupational exposure on semen quality and male hormones
  • cannabis consumption and semen quality
  • mobile phone use and semen quality
  • spatial disparities in semen quality in Switzerland

 FABER cohort: Male reproductive health in Switzerland