According to the findings of a recent study conducted in Denmark and reviewed by experts in the field, male offspring of pregnant women who were exposed to harmful poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals,” during the early stages of their pregnancies had lower sperm concentrations, lower total sperm counts, and a larger percentage of nonprogressive as well as immotile sperm.
The large-scale community study that was conducted in Denmark and published on October 5 through Environmental Health Viewpoints analyzed the characteristics of sperm and hormone secretion in 864 young men who were born in Denmark between the years 1996 and 2002 and whose mothers had provided plasma specimens primarily during the first trimester of their pregnancies.
There were 15 different PFAS that had their levels evaluated in maternal samples; seven of them PFAS had levels high enough to be used in the research. The quality of the sperm, the volume of the testicles, and the amounts of reproductive hormones including PFAS in young men who were a part of the Fetal Programming for Semen Quality cohort that was developed between 2017 and 2019 were then evaluated.
Researchers discovered that adult sons of women who were exposed to greater amounts of PFAS in early pregnancy had lower sperm levels and higher levels of immotile sperm when they reached adulthood. Sperm motility is the capacity of sperm could swim effectively, which is necessary for sperm to traverse the reproductive system in order to reach a woman’s egg and fertilize it. Sperm motility is essential for successful conception. Infertility may be caused by low sperm numbers as well as sperm that are unable to move.