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Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2018 Jun;45(2):57-66. doi: 10.5653/cerm.2018.45.2.57. Epub 2018 Jun 29.

The effects of oral antioxidants on the semen of men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, University of Babylon, Babylon, Iraq.


It has been estimated that approximately 15% of reproductive-age couples suffer from infertility. Male factors contribute to almost half of infertility cases, and in many patients the underlying cause of oligoasthenoteratozoospermia is unknown. Accumulating evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a role as a contributing factor to male infertility, and reactive oxygen species have been shown to impair sperm function and motility and to damage sperm membrane and DNA. Therefore, this review explored the evidence provided by studies published from 2002 to 2017 on the impact of oral antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, zinc, selenium, and pentoxifylline) on seminal fluid parameters in men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. Most of the studies were randomized controlled studies that investigated the effect of single or combined antioxidants and reported improvements in at least one semen parameter. The most noteworthy effect that was found was that the use of multiple antioxidants increased sperm motility and concentration. Nonetheless, there is a lack of agreement on the dose, the duration of treatment, and whether individual or combined oral antioxidants should be used. Therefore, the current review provides evidence supporting the use of oral antioxidants in the treatment of infertile men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.


Antioxidants; Idiopathic; Male infertility; Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia; Oxidative stress

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Conflict of interest: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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