Barcelona (EFE).- Both male and female reproductive function has been deteriorating for 30 years, according to the Puigvert Foundation, whose Sperm Bank has rejected between June 2022 and June 2023 80% of sperm donors half of them due to their low seminal quality.
“Seminal quality is multifactorial, biological, environmental and genetic variables are involved,” according to the director of the Fundación Puigvert de Barcelona’s Sperm Bank, andrologist Lluís Bassas.
“These results -Bassas has pointed out- do not mean that the rejected donors are infertile, but rather that the parameters of their seminogram are insufficient for the standards that we ask for, since the requirements that are requested to enter the program are between 3 and 4 times higher than what would be considered normal.
However, he has admitted that in the last 30 years there have been a series of changes and circumstances associated with the global deterioration of both male and female reproductive function.
Asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections
In addition to low seminal quality, the andrologist has explained that they also reject donors for other factors, such as the presence of asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections, lack of commitment on the part of the donor, family history of hereditary diseases, lack of continuity on the part of the donor. or the detection of genetic abnormalities.
According to Bassas, “this quality criterion is necessary because the samples are going to be frozen-thawed and subjected to selection processes in the laboratory.”
According to the results of the Puigvert Foundation’s Semen Donation Program (June 2022-June 2023), between 10 and 20 percent of the candidates who pass the first exploration and anamnesis visit and do the corresponding analyzes (seminogram ), are accepted to enter the donor program.
To be an “effective candidate”, in addition to being between 18 and 35 years old and in good general health, a series of diagnostic tests must be passed: a seminogram, a complete blood and urine analysis to rule out general diseases and transmitted infections. sexual, and a genetic study to rule out diseases that can be transmitted to the offspring.
Bassas recalled that the Andrology service of the Puigvert Foundation created the first public sperm bank in Spain in 1986 with a double purpose: to respond to reproductive problems in couples through the Assisted Reproduction Program (PRA) and to investigate the causes of male infertility.
Beyond semen quality
According to the andrologist, male infertility is an alteration that goes beyond semen quality in the strict sense because “we have to put in context that in the last 30 years there have been a series of changes and circumstances that, without any doubt, have had a direct impact on the overall deterioration of reproductive function”.
In this sense, “the more advanced age of the couples and the prevalence of diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes are factors that contribute to this increase in infertility, although we have also observed some cryptic factors that predispose to infertility in people who They were born through an assisted reproductive technique and are now of reproductive age.”
Bassas has pointed out that “there are other factors, which are controllable and are related to the consumption of doping or anti-androgenic substances, to which are added the consumption of tobacco or alcohol or other substances, stress, poor diet, sedentary life and lack of physical exercise”.
“The message is that the more risk factors a person accumulates, the greater the risk of having reproductive problems,” concluded the director of the Puigvert Foundation’s Sperm Bank.