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.

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Available from: Stacey A Missmer, Dec 05, 2014
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    • "However , it should be noticed that the physiological effects are largely dependent on the intensity and frequency of the exercise training (O'Keefe et al., 2012). Endurance exercise frequently leads to semen deterioration, with men presenting decreased spermatozoa concentration, altered motility, and abnormal morphology (Safarinejad et al., 2009; Wise et al., 2011). Moreover, endurance exercise disturbs the hypothalamic– pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis (Lucia et al., 1996), causing a decrease in the circulating testosterone levels (Hackney et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise and physical activity have long been recognized for health promotion and to delay the onset of many pathological situations such as diabetes and cancers. Still, there appears to be an upper limit on the beneficial health effects regarding intensity and frequency of exercise training. In humans, the effect of exercise training in the male reproductive system has been studied mainly through the analysis of semen quality parameters, with inconsistent results. Less is known on molecular biomarkers of exercise-related changes in testis at the protein/proteome level. This review offers an in-depth analysis on the small scale protein studies available primarily from the preclinical studies and interprets their functional impact on the reproductive health with a view to humans. In all, exercise training in preclinical models seems to negatively modulate, in the course of health, critical functions that directly affect spermatogenesis, such as testosterone biosynthesis, energy supply, and antioxidant system components. Exercise training induces apoptosis, leading to the impairment of spermatogenesis and, consequently, to male infertility. In pathological conditions, an improvement in the testicular functions is observed by increases in steroidogenic enzymes and antioxidant defenses, and reductions in activity of inflammatory pathways. Importantly, the mechanisms by which exercise training modulates the reproductive function are far from being fully understood. The analyses of the testis proteome in varying exercise conditions would inform the molecular mechanisms involved and identify putative theranostics opportunities. Such future research is a cornerstone for health promotion in the pursuit of reproductive health informed by omics systems sciences.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Omics: a journal of integrative biology
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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.
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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.
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