Is there really a decrease in sperm parameters among healthy young men? A survey of sperm donations during 15 years

J Assist Reprod Genet. 1997 Jul;14(6):347-53. doi: 10.1007/BF02765840.


Purpose: Our purpose was to measure changes in semen quality and quantity in young healthy sperm donors in Jerusalem over time.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of semen parameters over 15 years using linear regression analysis, in a single sperm bank in a tertiary university center. Study population consisted of 188 young, healthy medical students, aged 20 to 30 years, who donated sperm samples for Artificial insemination between 1980 and 1995.

Results: There were no statistically significant changes in semen concentration and motility during the study period. The mean semen volume increased by 0.1 ml (5.1%) per year (P < 0.0001), with a concomitant mean rise of 5.8 x 10(6) (7.7%) per year in total motile sperm count. The percentage normal morphology decreased by a mean of 1.04% per year during the entire period (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: During the past 15 years, there has been an increase in total motile sperm count, secondary to an increase in semen volume, and a decline in normal morphology that are independent of the age and the duration of abstinence in fertile men.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Oligospermia / epidemiology
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semen
  • Sperm Count*
  • Sperm Motility*
  • Spermatozoa / abnormalities*
  • Spermatozoa / ultrastructure
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors*