Fertility decline expert: "In two centuries, the human species could become extinct"
Infertility continues to rise globally. According to a recent report submitted to the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health at the end of February 2022, 3.3 million are affected by this scourge.
Professor Samir Hamamah, head of the reproductive biology department at Montpellier University Hospital, co-wrote this report, reports Le Point. Questioned by the French newspaper, the specialist warns of the serious consequences that this increase in infertility can lead to.
According to a recent report submitted to the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health at the end of February, 3.3 million people are affected by infertility in France. Results that concern the medical profession. In the columns of the newspaper Le Point, the head of the reproductive biology department at Montpellier University Hospital, Samir Hamamah, sounds the alarm. According to him, at the current rate, the human species could disappear in two centuries.
"I already knew that our reproductive health was threatened, but it is more than that: the human species as a whole is in danger of extinction," says Samir Hamamah in a century and a half, two centuries for the most optimistic. The main cause is decreased fertility in women.
The expert recalls that for a society to continue, each family must conceive an average of 2.6 children. However, currently, "In France, the number of children per woman has dropped to 1.83. In Portugal, Spain or Italy it is 1.3", reveals Samir Hamamah. The situation is even more catastrophic in China, a country that "could lose 50% of its population" in the next 40 or 50 years, according to the French specialist.
In 10 to 15% of cases, infertility remains unexplained, but for the rest, the causes have been clarified by specialists. In particular, they observe a significant drop in the quantity and quality of sperm. In addition, women have family plans at increasingly older ages, which may also explain reproductive problems. "Today, a 30-year-old woman has a one in four risk of having infertility problems. At 40, she is one in two women," says the professor.
Other factors can also decrease fertility. "Excess weight, stress, excessive tobacco, alcohol or coffee consumption, or even lack of sleep: all these harm reproductive health," says Samir Hamamah. "We are exposed without knowing it to a hundred molecules a day. Endocrine disruptors are responsible for the decrease in our fertility. When a young woman buys a lipstick, a foundation, a perfume, she must know what it contains and what is exposed", she adds in the columns of the newspaper Ouest France.
In an attempt to remedy this decline in fertility, Professor Samir Hamamah and Salomé Berlioux, president of the "Paths of the Future" association, have formulated 21 recommendations in a national action plan. For example, they ask for the placement of a "reprotoxic" logo on everyday products, which would allow endocrine disruptors to be identified. In fact, these chemical molecules can have deleterious effects on the hormonal regulation system. The recommendations also include the creation of a national fertility institute.
According to Professor Samir Hamamah, prevention must also be done with adolescents, informing them as soon as possible "about their fertility and giving them the keys to preserve their reproductive health." The specialist concludes by stating: "This is not a pro-natalist policy. It is neither more nor less than preserving the human species. We have a collective responsibility."