Are oestrogens involved in falling sperm counts and disorders of the male reproductive tract?

R M Sharpe, N E Skakkebaek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The incidence of disorders of development of the male reproductive tract has more than doubled in the past 30-50 years while sperm counts have declined by about half. Similar abnormalities occur in the sons of women exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy and can be induced in animals by brief exposure to exogenous oestrogen/DES during pregnancy. We argue that the increasing incidence of reproductive abnormalities in the human male may be related to increased oestrogen exposure in utero, and identify mechanisms by which this exposure could occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-6
Number of pages4
JournalThe Lancet
Volume341
Issue number8857
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 1993

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Diethylstilbestrol
  • Estradiol Congeners
  • Estrogens
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Male
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones
  • Male
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Preparations
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Sperm Count

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