Researchers Warn of Rapid Decline in Quality of Israeli Sperm

According to research at the Hadassah University Hospital-Mt. Scopus, continued decline could lead to the cessation of sperm-donation programs.

Dan Even
Dan Even
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Dan Even
Dan Even

A recent study at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, Mt. Scopus has confirmed the findings of previous research indicating a sharp decline in the quality of semen provided by Israeli sperm donors.

Researchers analyzed 2,182 semen samples that were provided on a weekly basis by 58 healthy, fertile, university-educated, paid donors aged 20 to 37 between 1995 and 2009 for motility and for total sperm count.

Despite the lowering in 2004 of criteria for sperm donations, 38 percent of the applicants for sperm donation were rejected on the basis of semen quality in 2009, compared to a third of applicants 10 to 15 years ago. Under the previous, stricter criteria, 88 percent of the prospective donors would be rejected today.

Over the period of the study sperm parameters declined 36 percent, from an average of 106 million sperm/ml of ejaculate in 1995 to 68 million/ml in 2009. Motility declined from 79 percent to 66 percent over the study period.

Under the less stringent criteria, only 18 percent of the most recent donors had acceptable sperm quality.

The study was carried out by a research team led by Dr. Ronit Haimov-Kochman of Hadassah's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and appears in the June 2012 issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal.

"The rapid deterioration of sperm quality among fertile semen donors is alarming and may lead to cessation of sperm donation programs," the researchers concluded.

Assaf Harofeh Medical Center's sperm bank. A court has allowed the parents of a dead man to chose a woman to be impregnated by his sperm, which is stored in a similar facility.Credit: Moti Milrod



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can