ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 668-675

Effect of transient scrotal hyperthermia on sperm parameters, seminal plasma biochemical markers, and oxidative stress in men


1 Family Planning Research Institute, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
2 Family Planning Research Institute; Reproductive Medicine Center, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

Correspondence Address:
Wei Xia
Family Planning Research Institute; Reproductive Medicine Center, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.146967

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In this experimental prospective study, we aimed to analyze the effect of transient scrotal hyperthermia on the male reproductive organs, from the perspective of sperm parameters, semen plasma biochemical markers, and oxidative stress, to evaluate whether different frequencies of heat exposure cause different degrees of damage to spermatogenesis. Two groups of volunteers (10 per group) received testicular warming in a 43°C water bath 10 times, for 30 min each time: group 1: 10 consecutive days; group 2: once every 3 days. Sperm parameters, epididymis and accessory sex gland function, semen plasma oxidative stress and serum sex hormones were tested before treatment and in the 16-week recovery period after treatment. At last, we found an obvious reversible decrease in sperm concentration (P = 0.005 for Group 1 and P= 0.008 for Group 2 when the minimums were compared with baseline levels, the same below), motility (P = 0.009 and 0.021, respectively), the hypoosmotic swelling test score (P = 0.007 and 0.008, respectively), total acrosin activity (P = 0.018 and 0.009, respectively), and an increase in the seminal plasma malondialdehyde concentration (P = 0.005 and 0.017, respectively). The decrease of sperm concentration was greater for Group 2 than for Group 1 (P = 0.031). We concluded that transient scrotal hyperthermia seriously, but reversibly, negatively affected the spermatogenesis, oxidative stress may be involved in this process. In addition, intermittent heat exposure more seriously suppresses the spermatogenesis compared to consecutive heat exposure. This may be indicative for clinical infertility etiology analysis and the design of contraceptive methods based on heat stress.


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