Is ‘The Pill’ Killing Off Sperm?

Rex Features via AP Images / REX/Franco Banfi/Solent News
Rex Features via AP Images / REX/Franco Banfi/Solent News

There are transsexual fish in the lowland rivers of England. Boy fish are turning into girl fish, or at least developing female attributes.

Some experts lay the blame on the contraceptive pill in women’s urine ending up in the water supply. They worry further that, besides male fish developing eggs, this may be causing an epidemic of low sperm count and contributing to an epidemic of infertility in men.

A raft of articles has appeared in the British press recently, and the story has found its way to The Daily Beast.

Author P.D. James published The Children of Men about a planet earth where men were no longer fertile and the final generation of humans had been born. She published her book in 1992 at the same time a Danish researcher found the average sperm count had dropped by 50% in the 30 years since the close of World War II.

French researchers found the sperm count in 26,000 men had dropped from 73.6 million to 49.9 million per mL between 1989 and 2005. Dr. Phil Hammond, writing in the London Telegraph says, “Up to a fifth of young men have a low sperm count.”

Almost everyone lays the blame on environmental factors, primarily toxins in the water and food system, that are feminizing men, including the contraceptive pill that women urinate into the water system. Consider that, according to the World Health Organization, the United States, at 78%, has one of the highest levels of contraceptive use in the world.

The Telegraph’s environmental correspondent Geoffrey Lean writes, “A study to be published by the Environmental Agency later this month says entire fish stocks in some stretches of water are irreversibly affected. Scientists believe the synthetic oestrogen can feminise-fish at levels as low as one part per billion.”

Others think men’s underwear is too tight and that their testicles are too warm. Testicles are on the outside of the body for a reason. Sperm can best produce in an environment a few degrees cooler than the human body.

An American living in Paris has come up with a solution for too hot testicles. Josh Shoemaker is marketing underwear that includes a pouch for a frozen gel pack. Shoemaker says it beats what some doctors have recommended, which was “sticking a bad of frozen peas down [your] pants.”

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse.