The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Women are bombarded with messages about their reproductive health. Why not men?

By Rene Almeling

16 Jun 2021 · 5 min read

Every few years, a new study appears sounding an alarm about dropping sperm counts, cuing sensational headlines about the end of men and scholarly concerns about the robustness of the data. Yet amid all the debate about the number of sperm, there has been much less attention on the emerging science of what's happening inside these little cells, and how a man's age and health can damage the genetic material in sperm.

My question is: What took so long? After more than a century of studying every possible way that women's age and women's behaviors and women's exposures to toxins can affect reproduction, why are we only now learning basic information about how men's health affects reproductive outcomes?

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content