Endocrine and reproductive profile of boys and young adults conceived after ICSI

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Jun;31(3):163-169. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000538.


Purpose of review: The impact of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), on the reproductive health of the offspring is largely unknown. Here we provide a comprehensive overview of the endocrine and reproductive profile in boys and young male adults born after ICSI using ejaculated spermatozoa alleviating male factor infertility in their parents.

Recent findings: Levels of testosterone, anti-Müllerian hormone and inhibin B were found comparable in prepubertal and pubertal boys conceived by ICSI when compared with levels in boys conceived spontaneously. Also, at young adulthood, mean levels of reproductive hormones did not differ from control peers. However, semen analysis showed significantly lower sperm concentration, total sperm count and total motile sperm count when compared with controls. Furthermore, the risk of having sperm concentration and sperm count below the reference values was increased in ICSI offspring while sperm parameters did not correlate in paired father-son semen analysis.

Summary: Although endocrine gonadal function was normal at puberty, exocrine function at young adulthood was not. We observed decreased semen quality and quantity in young adults conceived by ICSI performed to circumvent male factor infertility. The possibility of transgenerational transmission of impaired spermatogenesis after ICSI needs further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood
  • Azoospermia / therapy
  • Child
  • Endocrine System*
  • Fathers
  • Fertilization
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / therapy*
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Male
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Semen
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic*
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatozoa / pathology*
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • inhibin B
  • Testosterone
  • Inhibins
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone