Physical activity and semen quality among men attending an infertility clinic

Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
Fertility and sterility (Impact Factor: 4.59). 03/2011; 95(3):1025-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.11.006
Source: PubMed


To examine the association between regular physical activity and semen quality.
Prospective cohort study.
Couples attending one of three IVF clinics in the greater Boston area during 1993-2003. At study entry, male participants completed a questionnaire about their general health, medical history, and physical activity. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were derived using generalized estimating equations models, accounting for potential confounders and multiple samples per man.
A total of 2,261 men contributing 4,565 fresh semen samples were enrolled before undergoing their first IVF cycles.
Semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility, sperm morphology, and total motile sperm (TMS).
Overall, none of the semen parameters were materially associated with regular exercise. Compared with no regular exercise, bicycling ≥ 5 h/wk was associated with low sperm concentration (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.03-3.56) and low TMS (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.19-3.56). These associations did not vary appreciably by age, body mass index, or history of male factor infertility.
Although the present study suggests no overall association between regular physical activity and semen quality, bicycling ≥ 5 h/wk was associated with lower sperm concentration and TMS.


Available from: Stacey A Missmer, Dec 05, 2014
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    • "Physically active men who exercised in moderation (at least 1 h × 3 sessions/week) had better sperm quality (mostly in morphology) compared to men who exercised more vigorously and frequently [71] . Men from couples attending ART clinics ( n = 2261) who engaged in bicycling ( ≥ 5 h/week) had low total motile sperm counts (OR 2.05) and sperm concentration (OR 1.92) compared to those who did not exercise regularly [72] "
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    ABSTRACT: Human fertility is influenced by multiple factors, some more strongly than others. While not all factors are under our control, certainly most lifestyle factors are amenable to change to some extent, in order to minimize its adverse effects on fertility. Factors, such as couple's age during conception, body weight, smoking tobacco, alcohol and caffeine consumption, diet and exercise, use of illicit drugs, and sexually transmitted infections, can influence the couple's fertility potential. Adopting a healthier lifestyle contributes toward optimal fertility, which will enhance natural conception, promote a safer pregnancy leading to the live birth of a healthy baby. This chapter reviews studies on these individual lifestyle factors and discusses their findings. Knowledge on how these factors can impair fertility is essential to create awareness among couples who are planning to start a family or those who are already pregnant, in order to maximize their natural fertility potential and outcome.
    Handbook of Fertility: Nutrition, Diet, Lifestyle and Reproductive Health, Edited by Ronald Watson, 04/2015: chapter 13: pages 145-157; Academic Press.
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    • "Although reproductive abnormalities in the male partner are identified in about one-half of these cases, few risk factors for abnormal semen quality have been identified (Juul et al., 1999; Kovac et al., 2013). Emerging evidence suggests that lifestyle factors such as smoking (Ramlau-Hansen et al., 2007; Wegner et al., 2010), diet (Afeiche et al., 2014), physical activity (Hajizadeh Maleki et al., 2013; Vaamonde et al., 2006; Wise et al., 2011), overweight and obesity (Crujeiras and Casanueva, 2014; Sermondade et al., 2013), stress (Janevic et al., 2014), and sexual activity habits among others seem to have a cumulative effect on sperm quality (Wogatzky et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the association between physical activity and other potential determinants, objectively measured by accelerometry, was examined. Sixty-two men attending an infertility clinic participated in the study. Obese men (body mass index ≥ 30) and those with a waist circumference 102 cm or more had lower semen volume than the other men (P < 0.05). Higher values in sperm parameters were observed in participants who completed university studies and those who did not consume snuff, compared with the other participants (P < 0.05). Finally, men who spent an average number of 10 min-bouts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity had significantly better semen quality than those who engaged in low or high numbers of bouts of activity (P < 0.05). No associations were found for sedentary or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity time when it was not sustained over 10 min, i.e. not in bouts. Men who have average levels of physical activity over sustained periods of 10 min are likely to have better semen quality than men who engage in low or high levels of such activity. Similarly, high levels of total and central adiposity, low educational level and snuff consumption are negatively related to semen quality. Copyright © 2015 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Reproductive biomedicine online 03/2015; 31(1). DOI:10.1016/j.rbmo.2015.03.004 · 3.02 Impact Factor
    • "men had higher sperm motility , sperm concentration , semen volume , elevated levels of FSH , LH , testosterone , and an increased testosterone / cortisol ratio [ Vaamonde et al . 2012 ] . Whereas in the study in Boston , bicycling ! 5 h / wk was associated with low sperm concentration and low total motile sperm compared with no regular exercise [ Wise et al . 2011 ] ."
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The relationship between exposure to lifestyle factors and adverse effects on human reproductive health is debated in the scientific literature and these controversies have increased public and regulatory attention. The aim of the study was to examine the association between modifiable lifestyle factors and main semen parameters, sperm morphology, and sperm chromatin structure. The study population consisted of 344 men who were attending an infertility clinic for diagnostic purposes with normal semen concentration of 20-300 M/ml or with slight oligozoospermia (semen total concentration of 15-20 M/ml) [WHO 1999]. Participants were interviewed and provided semen samples. The interview included questions about demographics, socio-economic status, medical history, lifestyle factors (consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee intake, cell phone and sauna usage), and physical activity. The results of the study suggest that lifestyle factors may affect semen quality. A negative association was found between increased body mass index (BMI) and semen volume (p = 0.03). Leisure time activity was positively associated with sperm concentration (p = 0.04) and coffee drinking with the percentage of motile sperm cells, and the percentage of sperm head and neck abnormalities (p = 0.01, p = 0.05, and p = 0.03, respectively). Drinking red wine 1-3 times per week was negatively related to sperm neck abnormalities (p = 0.01). Additionally, using a cell phone more than 10 years decreased the percentage of motile sperm cells (p = 0.02). Men who wore boxer shorts had a lower percentage of sperm neck abnormalities (p = 0.002) and percentage of sperm with DNA damage (p = 0.02). These findings may have important implications for semen quality and lifestyle.
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