Semen quality of consecutive ejaculates from cancer patients for fertility preservation

This is the first study showing that repeated ejaculates from cancer patients did not show substantial variation in semen quality.

Seul Ki Kim, M.D., Jang Mi Lee, B.S., Byung Chul Jee, M.D., Ph.D., Chang Suk Suh, M.D., Ph.D., Seok Hyun Kim, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 102, Issue 4, Pages 1124-1129


To study variations in semen parameters among cancer patients who visited a sperm banking clinic before undergoing cancer treatment.

Retrospective, consecutive study.

University-based hospital.

Eighty-six patients, diagnosed with various cancers, undergoing multiple semen collections on 5 consecutive days, for fertility preservation, between 2004 and 2013.


Main Outcome Measures:
Within- and between-subject coefficients of variation were estimated using a random-effects analysis of variance to assess the consistency of semen parameters (volume, sperm concentration, motility, rapid motility, total motile sperm count, and computer-based sperm parameters), whereas intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated to assess the size of the between-component of variance relative to the total component of variance.

When analyzing semen parameters over a maximum of 5 consecutive days, only the semen volume was significantly reduced in day-1 and -3 samples compared with the first sample. Almost all of the parameters showed high ICC values, suggesting that within-subject fluctuations were small relative to the between-subject variability. The highest ICC values were noted in volume (ICC 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.52–0.89), followed by total motile count (ICC 0.71; 95% CI 0.30–0.89); the least consistent measure was wobble (ICC 0.14; 95% CI −0.13, 0.51).

Repeated ejaculates from cancer patients did not show substantial variation in semen quality.

  • msamplaski

    Had any of these men undergone any form of treatment prior to their SA testing? In addition what was the mean age of the men? Potentially, some cancers (which release hormones or are associated with more systemic responses) would be associated with more variability in semen parameters.

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