Role of Oxidative Stress in Male Infertility: An Updated Review

J Hum Reprod Sci. 2019 Jan-Mar;12(1):4-18. doi: 10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_150_18.


Current evidence links oxidative stress (OS) to male infertility, reduced sperm motility, sperm DNA damage and increased risk of recurrent abortions and genetic diseases. A review of PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, and Cochrane review databases of published articles from years 2000-2018 was performed focusing on physiological and pathological consequences of reactive oxygen species (ROS), sperm DNA damage, OS tests, and the association between OS and male infertility, pregnancy and assisted reproductive techniques outcomes. Generation of ROS is essential for reproductive function, but OS is detrimental to fertility, pregnancy, and genetic status of the newborns. Further, there is a lack of consensus on selecting OS test, type, and duration of antioxidants treatment as well as on the target patients group. Developing advanced diagnostic and therapeutic options for OS is essential to improve fertility potential and limit genetic diseases transmitted to offspring.

Keywords: Antioxidants; male infertility; oxidative stress; sperm DNA damage.

Publication types

  • Review