November 6

Reduced sperm quality [oligospermia]: Why are more and more men becoming infertile?

Reduced sperm quality [oligospermia]: Why are more and more men becoming infertile?

Infertile men due to reduced sperm-quality present itself as a widespread and globally increasing phenomenon. Against this background, the question arises as to the causes of reduced sperm-quality [oligospermia]: What causes infertility in man ? "Male infertility accounts for 50% of men's health problems and has always been an issue of personal and social concern."1 The extent and background of infertile men are explained below.

What about the sperm-quality?

According to a recently published comprehensive meta-analysis on sperm-quality over a period of 45 years, the average sperm count in an ejaculate of healthy men has decreased by 51.6%-65.1% between 1973 and 2018 - from 101 to 52-65 million sperm per ml.2 Prof. Dr. Niels Skakkebaek's research group had already pointed out this trend 20 years ago in a review article in the renowned British Medical Journal, reporting a 42% decrease in sperm count for the observation period between 1940 and 1990.3 An unchecked continuation of this statistical trend would mean that male sperm production could approach zero by 2045.

what causes infertility in man Infertile men Reduced sperm-quality Decrease sperm count 1940-2018 Pure Fertility
Figure 1: Decrease in sperm count between 1940 and 2011. Graph from own compilation, based on analysis of data from Schiffer et al. (2014)3 (for the period 1940-1990) and Levine et al. (2022)2 (for the period 1973-2018).

Since biology does not follow a mathematical linearity, such predictions, which are based only on statistical model calculations, should be interpreted with caution. The decline in female fertility also follows a similar trend, which is carried out in a separate article is carried out. In addition to the sperm count or density, the forward motility (progressive motility), the shape (morphology) and other parameters of the sperm are significant for their ability to fertilize. Below is an overview of the newly revised WHO reference values.4, 5

Infertile men Reduced sperm-quality Reference values sperm quality WHO 2022 Pure Fertility
Figure 2: Overview of reference values for sperm-quality. Graphic from own compilation, according to WHO (2022).7

Main reasons for what causes infertility in man through reduced sperm-quality

A number of diseases or environmental factors can negatively affect sperm quality and (over a longer period of time) even lead to temporary or permanent infertility. Fertility of both sexes is affected by diseases associated with both reduced and excessive activity of sex hormones or infections as well as systemic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, vitamin D deficiency, autoimmune diseases etc. In addition, lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, physical activity) are associated with increased exposure to harmful environmental toxins and electromagnetic radiation. Lifestyle factors include increased exposure to environmental factors or stress, but also deficiencies in exercise or nutritional deficiencies.

1. Diseases affecting men to become infertile

Diseases that exclusively affect male fertility are (1) decreased sperm production (impaired spermatogenesis) in the testes, (2) erectile dysfunction, (3) ejaculatory dysfunction, or (4) diseases (e.g., adhesions due to inflammation) of the vas deferens.6 An unhealthy lifestyle such as unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, smoking, negative stress, excessive alcohol consumption, or exposure to environmental toxins, may cause men to become infertile.6,7

"If these substances are ingested by the pregnant woman, they can result in reduced birth weight or malformations of the reproductive organs in the growing male fetus, among other effects."

2. Reduced sperm-quality due to environmental toxins

As a factor increasingly gaining importance of what causes infertility in man are synthetic-, chemical-, disruptors affecting the hormonal system,8 such as plastics (bisphenol A), plasticizers (phthalates), industrial solvents/lubricants and their by-products, agricultural poisons (pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides), and pharmaceutical ingredients.7, 9, 10 Most of these chemicals, especially artificial and endocrine disrupting phthalates, are found in many consumer products including building materials, household goods, cleaning products, clothing, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, dentures, medical devices, dietary supplements, herbal remedies, medical devices, children's toys, plasticine, food packaging and motor vehicles.11

2.1 Main suspects of what causes infertility in man: Hormone-like substances (disruptors)

The effect of these 'disruptors' is based on their chemical similarity to female sex hormones. Since our body 'mixes up' both molecules, these substances can also bind to receptors for the sex hormones and subsequently trigger undesirable reactions.10, 12

What causes infertility in man Infertile men Reduced sperm-quality Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) Pure Fertility
Figure 3: Historical milestones in the field of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)., from Papalou et al. (2019).9

Of particular importance is the contact of the embryo/fetus during pregnancy, as e.g. the development of the male reproductive tract can be negatively affected. If these substances are ingested by the pregnant woman, they can result in reduced birth weight or malformations of the reproductive organs in the growing male fetus, among other things associated with infertile men.10 It should be mentioned here that phthalate-containing microplastics are also contained in surgical face masks and test sticks,13 which have been in worldwide use since 2020 as a result of the global Covid-19 policy measures.

"10% of the genetically tested male experimental animals developed into fully reproductive females as a result of exposure..."

Agricultural toxins (misleadingly often referred to as 'phytosanitary'), which are eventually enriched in food, can also act as hormonal disruptors and cause reduced sperm-quality which may lead to infertile men.

2.2 Demasculinization and chemical castration of male amphibians by pesticides.

In vertebrates, the widely used herbicide "atrazine" can not only reduce the number of males in the offspring, but can cause a complete morphological and functional transformation of (originally) genetic males into reproductive females.

An experimental study in African clawed frogs.14 reported morphological changes in testosterone-dependent structures after exposure of eggs to minute amounts of atrazine in water. In addition, suppression of reproductive behavior and marked inferiority in exposed versus unexposed males was observed, with the authors referring to chemical castration in addition to demasculinization. 10% of the genetically tested male experimental animals developed into fully reproductive females (hermaphroditism) as a result of exposure, with 2/4 experimental animals persistently! were able to produce offspring. The results are consistent with other vertebrate studies. At higher doses, atrazine is also active in mammals, e.g. rats.15

"In addition, suppression of reproductive behavior and marked inferiority in exposed versus unexposed males was observed, with the authors referring to chemical castration in addition to demasculinization."

Of course, humans do not lay their brood as "spawn" and cannot be directly compared with amphibians. Against this background, the occasionally thematized societal `feminization` nevertheless does not seem to be entirely unfounded in its biological manifestation.

3. Reduced sperm-quality due to plant antinutrients as a cause for infertile men.

In addition, a whole range of plant foods contain naturally occurring secondary plant compounds with estrogenic and/or antiestrogenic effects - which act as phytoestrogens, among other things. Reduced sperm quality is the result. They are found in many foods, including beans, sprouts, cabbage, spinach, soybeans, grains and hops. Consumption of high levels of phytoestrogens may have adverse effects on reproductive functionality, including affecting sex hormones to fertility. In particular, soy, which is popular among vegetarians and vegans, has extremely! high levels of phytoestrogens.16, 17

"The concern about hormones in cow's milk products must be considered negligible in this light, whereas soy-based products must be considered a serious threat to hormone balance."

It is often argued that cow's milk and the hormones it contains are unsuitable for humans and only suitable for rearing calves. It should be noted that the amount of hormonally active phytoestrogens in soy-based products exceeds the estrogen content in dairy products by several 100,000 times.18, 19 Even the milk of breastfeeding mothers has an estrogen content 200,000 times lower than the much praised Japanese natto (fermented soy),18, 19 although even there, the significantly higher estrogen content drops to the level of cow's milk after a few days. The authors of the above-mentioned study even came to the conclusion that the quantity of active estrogen contained in cow's milk products is so low that a biological activity could not be demonstrated at all.18 

What causes infertility in man Male infertility Reduced sperm quality estrogen content cow's milk products comparison phytoestrogen Soya Pure Fertility
Figure 4: Estrogen content of various cow's milk products, breast milk, and active phytoestrogen in fermented and unfermented soy products.18, 19 pg/g = picogram / gram; pg/ml = picogram / milliliter

Against this background, the concern about hormones in cow's milk products must be considered negligible and obivously are not responsable, for what causes infertility in man . Soy-based products on the other hand, must be classified as a serious threat to hormone balance.

"The plant protects its own reproductive capacity by reducing the fecundity of its "predators" (in this case humans)..."

Basically it should be considered that plants also want to survive and do not simply grow for fun to serve humans as food. For this purpose, they form 'anti-nutrients' such as phytoestrogens, but also an incalculable amount of other substances such as lectins, oxcalic acid, phytic acid, etc. with which they protect themselves against 'predators' - for example, by making them infertile or hindering the absorption of nutrients. In general, it can be said that especially those parts which serve the plant as reproduction are particularly well protected - i.e. the seeds and kernels (nuts, cereals, beans, lentils, peas, etc.). The plant protects its own reproductive capacity by reducing the fertility of its "predators" (in this case humans)...

4. Reduced sperm-quality due to electromagnetic waves

Exposure to low-level electromagnetic radiation from wireless communication devices is increasing at an extreme rate, and the associated effects - particularly in terms of reduced sperm-quality - are believed to be greatly underestimated by the general population. Low-level microwave irradiation can affect several fertility parameters in men, including sperm morphology and functionality, hormonal balance, spermatogenesis, and increased DNA damage. Reduced sperm-quality, which subsequently lead men to become infertile, is supported by countless studies.2021 Unfortunately, the most widespread frequency range of about 2.4 GHz - which is used for Wi-Fi as well as UMTS (3G) or microwave ovens - poses a particular threat to male fertility.

What causes infertility in man EMF causes infertility Reduced sperm quality Overview of frequency spectra and wavelengths Pure Fertility
Figure 5: Overview of frequency spectra and wavelengths of various technical and natural exposure sources, after Yadav, Rai & Singh (2021).19

In animal experiment, after one year (24h and 7 days/week) Wi-Fi irradiation with 2.4 GHz, different morphological impairment of reproductive tract was found.22 Another study conducted in rats observed reduced seminal vesicle weight after only one day, as well as reduced sperm-quality as well as apoptosis by 2.4GHz Wi-Fi irradiation.23 The number of motile human spermatozoa could be significantly reduced experimentally within 50 min of exposure to a notebook computer and a Wi-Fi hotspot (2.4 GHz).24 Similar results could be shown in another study by exposure to 900 MHz / 1.8GHz (GSM mobile phone standard), where within five hours also motility - especially progressive motility - was reduced as well as DNA fragmentation was increased.25

"The number of motile human sperm could be significantly reduced experimentally within 50 min of exposure to a notebook computer and a Wi-Fi hotspot (2.4 GHz)."

It must be emphasized at this point that the above mentioned effects could be shown within minutes, hours or months with single exposure sources and frequencies. The actual exposure in everyday life by innumerable and strongly increasing exposure sources with a multiplicity of different frequency spectra, is already acutely and extreme. The consequences of the irradiation as a major reason of what causes infertility in man over a whole life from the moment of the conception, probably cannot be estimated seriously enough.

5. Nutrient deficiencies: An obvious root of what causes infertility in man

This topic alone should offer enough material for several books and shall be treated here only briefly and exemplarily. The main reasons for the extreme and increasing nutrient deficiencies with which most people are confronted are (1) the production of "food" by industrial agriculture and (2) the selection of food with low vital substance density or lack of bioavailability (concerns plant foods) by consumers. Minerals and trace elements cannot be formed by plants or animals and of course humans themselves and must be present in the soil on which the food grows.

"The alarming fact is that foods, fruits, vegetables and grains now grown on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain needed minerals are starving us - no matter how much we eat of them!"

U.S. Senate (1936)

Agricultural land in most parts of the world has been extremely degenerated for many decades, suffering from the diminishing humus layer and the associated deficiencies of minerals and trace elements in the upper soil layers accessible to the roots. Due to leaching or too intensive industrial cultivation (glyphosate binds minerals and removes them from the nutrient cycle as well as from the human organism). 26

5.1 Primary cause: Industrial agriculture

The problems associated with industrial agriculture were well known by the 1930s. Leading authorities of the time sounded the alarm that depleted (infertile) soils were leading to a significant deterioration in the nation's health, as evidenced by a steady increase in degenerative diseases, as documented by a U.S. Congressional Investigation of Agricultural Practices in the United States as early as 1936! 27

"Did you know that most of us today suffer from certain dangerous nutritional deficiencies that cannot be corrected until the depleted soils from which our food comes are brought into proper mineral balance? The alarming fact is that foods, fruits, vegetables and grains grown today on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain needed minerals are starving us - no matter how much we eat of them!"27

Nutrient deficiency is what causes infertility in man Synergism and antagonism Minerals and trace elements Pure Fertility
Figure 6: Synergism and antagonism of essential (and "non-essential") minerals and trace elements. Graphic taken from Hügel (2021)28

An excellent overview of the importance of essential and "non-essential" minerals and trace elements, as well as the associated synergistic and antagonistic interrelationships with "toxic metals" and essential elements, is provided by an article by Dr. Stefan Hügel28 and the graphic taken from it (see Figure 6).

"Fertile men need fertile soil!"

Organic farming is - it should be mentioned only in passing - just as affected, although here (in the best case!) fewer or even no agricultural poisons are used. An evaluation of 55 studies could not find any statistically significant difference between the mineral and trace element content of conventional and organic foods (apart from more phosphorus in organic products).28

Industrial Agriculture is what causes infertility in man infertile men Demineralization Soils Pure Fertility
Figure 7: Industrial agriculture is the main cause of nutrient deficiencies in food. Graphic taken from Unsplash

5.2 Zinc deficiency causes men to become infertile: An example

The demineralization of soils and thus foodstuffs also affects the essential trace element zinc,28 whereby a zinc deficiency alone is able to be responsable to what causes infertility in man or at least reduced sperm-quality. 29 Fertile men need fertile soils! This much can be stated with certainty at this point. The concentration of zinc in the blood has a strong effect on spermatogenesis, as zinc deficiency leads to dysfunction of the gonads, decrease in testicular weight and shrinkage of the testicular tubules to list just a few functional impairments.30 In addition, studies also report a positive correlation between zinc concentration in seminal plasma and sperm count, motility and serum testosterone levels.31, 32 The most important effect of zinc is on sperm motility.29

"High amounts of bioavailable zinc are found in oysters and beef liver, for example."

High amounts of bioavailable zinc are found, for example, in oysters or beef liver.33 It should be mentioned in passing that the liver-dependent detoxification of the hormonal disruptor BPA is directly dependent on retinol (vitamin A),34 Whereby the liver of grazing animals is probably the richest source of bioavailable vitamin A. Nuts and seeds, which also contain large amounts of zinc (if the arable land still allows it), should be treated with caution due to the problems of antinutrients described above.


The causes of reduced sperm-quality and the associated increase in infertile men are diverse and complex. Little to no attention is paid to the issue of vaccinations in the context of what causes infertility in man. In a study on  oligozoosperm men, significantly elevated concentrations of aluminum - a commonly used adjuvant in vaccines - were found to be the only significant difference.35 This fact alone highlights the importance of vaccination in relation to the increased number of infertile men. Reduced sperm-quality has been observed for several decades. The development of contraceptive vaccines with the intention to make men and women infertile, has been researched for well over 100 years36  and by the 1970s also specifically promoted by the WHO,37 as described in our detailed article with the title "Declining population through birth control shots [`vaccinations`]! Fact or myth?" .

There are now also initial indications that the trend of declining semen quality may be further worsened or accelerated by global Covid-19 mass injections,38 as can be seen from another article devoted in great detail to this issue. Female fertility is also severely threatened by the ongoing mRNA vaccination campaigns, as can be seen from two further articles on reproductive toxicity and pregnancy complications.


  • 52.5% decrease in sperm-quality between 1973 - 2011.
  • 16 million sperm per ml on average.
  • 8-12% of couples worldwide are involuntarily childless.
  • Diseases, lifestyle and environmental influences such as aluminum adjuvants in vaccinations affect fertility.
  • Nutrient deficiencies lead to reduced sperm quality. Zinc deficiency alone can lead to infertile men.
  • Exposure to natural (e.g., soy) or synthetic (e.g., agricultural toxins, plasticizers) hormonal disruptors leads to biological feminization and infertility.
  • Phytoestrogen content in soy exceeds estrogen content in dairy products by several 100,000 times.
  • Radio frequencies (especially Wi-Fi & 3G/UMTS) of digital devices reduce sperm-quality in less than 1 hour.
List of sources


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