Response of semen parameters to three training modalities

Fertil Steril. 2009 Dec;92(6):1941-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.09.010. Epub 2008 Nov 14.


Objective: To investigate the effect of different training modalities on various markers of semen quality.

Design: Crossover study.

Setting: Medical school.

Patient(s): Forty-five men participated voluntarily in the study, being allocated into three groups according to their sports practice.

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): Sperm parameters (volume, liquefaction time, pH, viscosity, sperm count, motility, and morphology).

Result(s): Sperm concentration; total sperm number; type "a," "b," and "d" velocity; and morphology were significantly different among the practitioners of the three different training modalities. Morphology was the parameter showing the greatest difference, even reaching clinical relevance for the triathlete group (4.7%, poor prognosis pattern). In addition, these parameters tended to decrease as training requirements increased.

Conclusion(s): There are differences in the seminal profiles of individuals exercising in different modalities. The differences are more marked as intensity and volume of exercise increase, especially for morphology. These variables ought to be carefully analyzed and taken into account when designing a training protocol, especially with higher-level athletes, so that reproductive function is not compromised.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Prognosis
  • Reproductive Medicine*
  • Semen / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Young Adult