Male reproductive health in Switzerland

Overview of the study

For several decades, the scientific world has been questioning the origin of malformations and dysfunctions of the male reproductive system observed in certain animals. Many studies point to a class of molecules, resulting from human activity, capable of disrupting living organisms by mimicking the actions of sex hormones and inducing cascades of events harmful to their development. These substances come from a variety of sources and are widely used in everyday life. It is found in pesticides and insecticides, but also in more commonly used products such as plastics, paints, sunscreens or medicines.

In some parts of Europe, there has been a decrease in sperm count, which can affect fertility, as well as an increase in testicular cancers and genital malformations. These observations were collected under testicular dysgenesis syndrome. In the specific area of reproduction, exposure to endocrine disrupters during pregnancy affects the development of the fetus' sexual organs, causing infertility problems 20 or 30 years later.

On behalf of the Confederation, a national research project (NRP 50) entitled "Endocrine Disrupters: Importance for Humans, Animals and Ecosystems" was launched in 2002 and continued until 2007. Among the topics covered, a study on male fertility in Switzerland aimed to collect national data on reproductive system dysfunctions in young adults, aged 18-22 years and living in Switzerland.

This project was initiated by the F.A.B.E.R. Foundation, then transmitted in 2016 to Prof. Serge Nef of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, with the objective of pursuing research through national and international collaborations.

This study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNRS), the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the F.A.B.E.R. Foundation and private sponsors. Today, the HUG Foundation and the SCAHT took over. Collaboration with the Swiss Army Medical-Military Service continues both for the recruitment of volunteers and for contact with them in the short and medium term.

This site is intended for volunteers participating in the study, but also for anyone interested in the subject. For any questions, the study managers can be contacted by e-mail or telephone at the following addresses:

Contacts:

Pr. Serge Nef, Ph.D. 

Direction du projet

Department of Genetic Medicine and Development 
University of Geneva Medical School
1, rue Michel-Servet 
CH 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland
Phone +41 22 379 5193
email

Dr. Eric Stettler, MD

Responsable médical et logistique

Lyss-Strasse 21
CH 2560 Nidau, Switzerland
Phone: +41 79 504 37 61
email

Dr. Alfred Senn, Ph.D.

Data manager et spécialiste en andrologie

Speerstrasse 6
CH 8305 Dietlikon, Switzerland

email

Rita Rahban, Ms.Sc. 

Biologiste, doctorante

Department of Genetic Medicine and Development 
University of Geneva Medical School
1, rue Michel-Servet 
CH 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland
Phone +41 22 379 5193
email