Infertility - the new epidemic?

Around one in six couples may have difficulty conceiving* but could the world around us be responsible for some of those fertility problems?

Arguments for and against the idea that the modern world is so damaging to human fertility it could potentially wipe us off the planet, will be debated at the next Café Med talk taking place on Monday (February 18) at 6pm.

The Suttie Centre Café on Aberdeen’s Foresterhill health campus is the venue for the Infertility – the new epidemic? talk organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement with Research Team.

Professor Paul Fowler, Chair in Translational Medical Sciences at the University, will speak about man-made chemicals called environmental endocrine disruptors which are found in everyday items and can impact on animal and human health and fertility. Exposure to some of these compounds during fetal life are thought to contribute to the halving of average sperm numbers seen in many countries over the last 60 years.

Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya, Chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University, will discuss data which does not appear to suggest that infertility per se is on the rise. At the same time, many couples in the Western world are getting increasingly anxious about their ability to conceive naturally and are turning to assisted reproduction techniques.

Monday’s talk is free, and open to all. Café Med is part of the Café Scientifique series which is organised by the University’s Public Engagement with Research Team and supported by a science engagement grant

Full details of events in the cafe series are available at

* Figures taken from NHS Choices.