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Fertil Steril. 2014 Sep;102(3):705-10. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.05.039. Epub 2014 Jun 30.

Influence of ejaculatory abstinence on seminal total antioxidant capacity and sperm membrane lipid peroxidation.

Author information

1
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, North Carolina; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, North Carolina. Electronic address: paul.marshburn@carolinashealthcare.org.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, North Carolina.
3
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, North Carolina; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, North Carolina.
4
Cannon Research Center, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether the period of ejaculatory abstinence (EA) influences the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of semen or lipid peroxidation (LPO) of sperm membranes.

DESIGN:

A prospective experimental trial.

SETTING:

Academic medical center for reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

PATIENT(S):

Forty men from infertile couples planning intrauterine insemination.

INTERVENTION(S):

Men provided semen specimens after EA periods of 1 and 4 days.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Semen analysis, peroxidase staining, and assays for seminal TAC and sperm membrane LPO, with measures compared between days 1 and 4 within individuals (internal control) using paired t tests.

RESULT(S):

The shorter period of EA (1 day vs. 4 days) resulted in statistically significant decreases in semen volume (-24%), sperm density (-28%), and total sperm count (-3.2%). There was a statistically significant increase in TAC with the shorter period of EA (1 day) compared with 4 days of EA. No difference was detected in sperm membrane LPO comparing 1 day of EA and 4 days of EA.

CONCLUSION(S):

Higher seminal TAC obtained after a shorter period of EA could diminish oxidative stress-induced sperm damage by a mechanism independent of LPO. Shorter periods of EA may thus improve sperm quality by protecting from reactive oxygen species damage, even though lower numbers of motile sperm are produced after a shorter period of EA. This would be consistent with prior research indicating improved results after intrauterine insemination under these circumstances.

KEYWORDS:

Abstinence; male infertility; seminal plasma oxidative stress; spermatozoa; total antioxidant capacity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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