The Association Between Lipid Serum and Semen Parameters: a Systematic Review

Reprod Sci. 2023 Mar;30(3):761-771. doi: 10.1007/s43032-022-01040-8. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


Increased lipid levels sometimes not only affect sexual function but also are considered to harm semen quality. It is often a suspicion that elevated lipids are a factor in infertility. We conduct a systematic review. Articles that met the criteria were identified according to The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of recommendations in the PubMed, ProQuest, EBSCO, Web of Science Wiley Online, Springer Link, Scopus, and Science Direct databases with no time restriction for publication. Seven studies are eligible for qualitative analysis from nine studies that have the potential to be assessed. These studies measure the correlation of serum lipids (VLDL, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, total cholesterol, free cholesterol, phospholipids, free fatty acids) with semen parameters (concentration, motility, morphology, DNA fragmentation index). Although not all studies consistently report that lipids impact semen quality, this review suspects that lipids have a significant impact on sperm quality. This study implies that it is necessary to maintain lipid levels to maintain sperm quality and quality of life. However, further investigation with an observational cohort study design needs to be carried out to assess the effect of lipids on semen quality more precisely for the promotion of reproductive health care.

Keywords: Lipid serum; Male infertility; Reproductive health care; Sperm concentration; Sperm morphology; Sperm motility.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / adverse effects
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias* / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias* / complications
  • Infertility, Male* / blood
  • Infertility, Male* / etiology
  • Lipids* / adverse effects
  • Lipids* / blood
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Semen Analysis*
  • Semen* / physiology
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa* / physiology
  • Triglycerides / adverse effects
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Lipids