Semen quality low in men born after fertility treatment

April 1, 2007

Men who are the product of fertility treatment have a lower sperm concentration, a lower sperm count, smaller testicles, fewer motile sperm, and fewer morphologically normal spermatozoa as young adults compared with other men the same age, according to a report in the March 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Men who are the product of fertility treatment have a lower sperm concentration, a lower sperm count, smaller testicles, fewer motile sperm, and fewer morphologically normal spermatozoa as young adults compared with other men the same age, according to a report in the March 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Tina K. Jensen, PhD, and colleagues from Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, analyzed semen, blood, and data from a medical examination and a questionnaire from 1,925 18-year-old Danish men. Of these, 47 men were conceived as the result of fertility treatment.

The researchers found that after adjusting for confounders, men who were born after fertility treatment had a 46% lower sperm concentration, a 45% lower sperm count, smaller testicles, 4% fewer motile sperm, and 2% fewer morphologically normal spermatozoa. These men also had lower serum testosterone levels and a lower free androgen index, although these did not reach statistical significance.

Jensen TK, Jørgensen N, Asklund C, et al. Fertility treatment and reproductive health of male offspring: a study of 1,925 young men from the general population. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165:583-590.