Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I say: The Less Breeding Here, the Better

Sperm count concerns specialists

Two years ago when fertility specialist Gil Wilshire came to Columbia from his practice in New Jersey, one detail jumped out at him. His male patients in Mid-Missouri were much less fertile than those he treated on the East Coast.

"Nobody I saw had a normal sperm count," said Wilshire, a reproductive endocrinologist at Mid-Missouri Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Inc. "It took about two or three weeks until a normal semen analysis came through the door. I kept asking myself, ‘Am I in a hellhole of toxins?’ "

Danny Schust, another endocrinologist who arrived here from Harvard University in 2006, had an almost identical experience. He was accustomed to treating men with low sperm counts, but those he saw in Missouri all had low counts.

"I went to" an andrologist at the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility. "And I said, ‘Are you guys doing something different here because I never see normal sperm counts?’ " Schust recalled. "And she was like, ‘No, this is Missouri sperm.’ "

Their stories are part of a chorus of local people who work in the field of male fertility asking questions about low sperm counts in Mid-Missouri. Some suspect pesticides have percolated into ground water, but no definitive link is known. They say they are frustrated by the lack of attention to the problem and the lack of funding for further research.

If you look at the chart on the right side of the article, you will see that more interesting places have higher sperm counts, which lead me to the theory that the sperm are leaving the farm to seek their fame in the Big City.

Ah ha ha ha! Love your theory.
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