The fertility crisis threatening our future

I live and work in New York City. It definitely holds true to its nickname of “the city that never sleeps.” It’s a high-paced atmosphere where the people are driven. And sometimes, a person’s need to get ahead often overpowers a ticking biological clock.

Needless to say, I have a lot of patients who’ve chosen to have children later in life. And I’ve spent a fair amount of time treating fertility problems in my practice because of it.

That fact probably isn’t too surprising. But what might surprise you is that many of these patients struggling with fertility aren’t women — they’re men.

Throughout my career, I’ve always monitored testosterone levels in my male patients. And they’ve never been lower than they are today. These days, when I see a patient with levels even close to what they should be for his age, it’s almost cause for celebration.

The slumbering giant — that is our mainstream medical community — has finally woken up to this problem (probably because Big Pharma has found a way to turn a profit from it). But as usual, the response has been a little too slow, and a little too late.

In fact, a report in the British Medical Journal recently sounded the alarm over the steep drops in sperm counts that have affected men worldwide over the last 30 years. The authors are calling for “urgent action” to pinpoint the causes behind this decline in testosterone levels before a full-blown population crisis takes hold.

It’s not just fertility that’s in the crosshairs, either. Statistics show sharp increases in testicular cancer over the last three decades, too. And these authors suggest that lifestyle factors may be to blame.

Hmmm… you think?!

In today’s day and age, a majority of men no longer need to partake in tasks which support continual increased testosterone levels. Men no longer have to hunt for food to survive or roam around naked in the wilderness fighting saber tooth tigers. Hardly any of us even exercise anymore (and no, lifting the remote control doesn’t count).

On top of that, our world is now completely saturated with estrogen — from the daily care products we use, to pesticides, plastics, and pretty much every chemical we come into contact with… not to mention the food we eat.

They all contain endocrine-disrupting xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens — which, even in small traces, are clearly adding up.

Let me give you an example. A recent meta-analysis reviewed close to 200 studies — featuring nearly 43,000 men from 50 different countries on six different continents. And results showed that sperm counts dropped by more than fifty percent over the last 30 years among North American, European, Australian, and New Zealand men.

These rapid drops in sperm count, especially paired with rises in testicular cancer rates, make pretty clear that environmental causes — and that includes lifestyle — are chiefly to blame. Genetic alterations simply couldn’t produce these same changes in such a relatively short amount of time.

The question is, what will this lead to if we don’t do something to stop it?

Our lives are becoming more and more like “The Handmaid’s Tale” every day. Just look at how many more children are conceived using high-tech methods like in-vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or artificial insemination.

Two couples who are dear friends of mine had to resort to these same treatments in order to become pregnant — and the women in both of these couples are only in their mid-30s! So I can’t say I’m surprised to learn that fertility rates in many European countries, Japan, and Singapore have fallen solidly below the average procreation rate of 2.1 children for every woman.

(Fortunately, the U.S. isn’t facing negative population growth — yet.)

And needless to say, there are social factors at play in addition to biological, undoubtedly. But it seems to me that the “surprise” baby, which may have been born a generation ago, isn’t even being conceived now — and not just because family planning is more sophisticated than it once was…

Bottom line: There are A LOT of questions still on the table. What role do environmental chemicals play in these fertility trends? What about lifestyle? What about maternal exposure? And why, exactly, are more young men being diagnosed with testicular cancer than ever before?

I want answers and I want them now.  This cover up — even if it’s simply a lack of funding due to the influence of big special interest groups (aka the mainstream) — needs to be stopped immediately. Or pretty soon, we won’t need dystopian novels to entertain us…

We’ll be living in one.