Introduction: We conducted this study to determine the effects of saffron (Crocus sativus) on the results of semen analysis in men with idiopathic infertility.
Materials and methods: In this clinical trial, 52 nonsmoker infertile men whose problem could not be solved surgically were enrolled. They were treated by saffron for 3 months. Saffron, 50 mg, was solved in drinking milk and administered 3 times a week during the study course. Semen analysis was done before and after the treatment and the results were compared.
Results: The mean percentage of sperm with normal morphology was 26.50 +/- 6.44% before the treatment which increased to 33.90 +/- 10.45%, thereafter (P < .001). The mean percentage of sperm with Class A motility was 5.32 +/- 4.57% before and 11.77 +/- 6.07% after the treatment (P < .001). Class B and C motilities were initially 10.09 +/- 4.20% and 19.79 +/- 9.11% which increased to 17.92 +/- 6.50% (P < .001) and 25.35 +/- 10.22% (P < .001), respectively. No significant increase was detected in sperm count; the mean sperm count was 43.45 +/- 31.29 x 106/mL at baseline and 44.92 +/- 28.36x 106/mL after the treatment period (P = .30).
Conclusion: Saffron, as an antioxidant, is positively effective on sperm morphology and motility in infertile men, while it does not increase sperm count. We believe further studies on larger sample sizes are needed to elucidate the potential role and mechanism of action of saffron and its ingredient in the treatment of male infertility.