Physical activity is not related to semen quality in young healthy men

Capsule:
The study results suggest that physical activity is not deleterious to testicular function, as captured by semen quality parameters in this population of healthy young men in Spain.

Authors:
Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, Ph.D., Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D, Jaime Mendiola, Ph.D., Audrey J. Gaskins, Sc.D., Alberto M. Torres-Cantero, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 102, Issue 4, Pages 1103-1109

Abstract:

Objective:
To study the relationship of physical activity with semen quality among healthy young men from Spain.

Design:
Cross-sectional study.

Setting:
University and college campuses of Murcia Region, Spain.

Patient(s):
Healthy young men with untested fertility (n = 215).

Intervention(s):
A physical examination, blood and semen samples, and completion of a questionnaire.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Semen quality parameters.

Result(s):
Physical activity was not related to semen quality parameters. The adjusted percentage differences (95% confidence interval) in semen parameters comparing men in the top quartile of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (≥9.5 h/wk) with men in the bottom quartile (≤3 h/wk) were 4.3% (−30.2%, 38.9%) for total sperm count, 7.2% (−30.6%, 45.1%) for sperm concentration, −2.42% (−6.53%, 1.69%) for sperm motility, and 12.6% (−12.0%, 37.2%) for sperm morphology.

Conclusion(s):
In contrast to previous research among athletes, these data suggest that physical activity is not deleterious to testicular function, as captured by semen quality parameters in this population of healthy young men in Spain.

  • msamplaski

    While this study shows no relationship between physical activity and semen, the missing factor is BMI. BMI has been linked to serum testosterone, and also to physical activity. There is an obvious bias to a questionnaires, particularly where there is one variable which is “better” than the other. In this instance, BMI may have been able to more clearly identify men that were more intensely active, in addition to the questionnaire.

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