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Oxidative Stress and Male Infertility

One more advanced method for measuring the degree of oxidation within the sperm is the Laboratory Assessment of Oxidative Stress in Semen.

Oxidative stress (OS) is the result of an imbalance between the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the inability of the available antioxidants to neutralise the excessive production of ROS.

Small amounts of free radicals (ROS) are normally produced in the body and are necessary for sperm activation and fertilization. However, their production disturbance is the main factor of sperm toxicity. High ROS values seem to be the main cause of DNA fragmentation and the main cause of their increased production is white blood cells.
On the other hand, pathologically low ROS values are still one more infertility evidence due to the excessive presence of antioxidants.

The Seminal Oxidative Stress is being performed in IVF Athens Center, through a specialized device utilization in Andrology Laboratory.

The test is performed on a sperm sample, with a restrictive parameter in the presence of a sufficient number of spermatozoa (sperm concentration> 1 million sperm / mL).

Recent bibliographic data indicate as more representative the result, when the sexual abstinence period prior to test, is not more than two days.

In pathological cases the appropriated treatment is recommended as well as an advisory lifestyle approach (smoking, diet, exercise, etc) depending on the pathology.

In IVF Athens Center, we firmly believe that the personalized approach and the tailored therapy are the keys to success of each fertility process!



Despite advances in the field of male reproductive health, idiopathic male infertility, in which a man has altered semen characteristics without an identifiable cause and there is no female factor infertility, remains a challenging condition to diagnose and manage. Increasing evidence suggests that oxidative stress (OS) plays an independent role in the etiology of male infertility, with 30% to 80% of infertile men having elevated seminal reactive oxygen species levels. OS can negatively affect fertility via a number of pathways, including interference with capacitation and possible damage to sperm membrane and DNA, which may impair the sperm’s potential to fertilize an egg and develop into a healthy embryo. Adequate evaluation of male reproductive potential should therefore include an assessment of sperm OS.
We propose the term Male Oxidative Stress Infertility, or MOSI, as a novel descriptor for infertile men with abnormal semen characteristics and OS, including many patients who were previously classified as having idiopathic male infertility. Oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) can be a useful clinical biomarker for the classification of MOSI, as it takes into account the levels of both oxidants and reductants (antioxidants). Current treatment protocols for OS, including the use of antioxidants, are not evidence-based and have the potential for complications and increased healthcare-related expenditures.
Utilizing an easy, reproducible, and cost-effective test to measure ORP may provide a more targeted, reliable approach for administering antioxidant therapy while minimizing the risk of antioxidant overdose. With the increasing awareness and understanding of MOSI as a distinct male infertility diagnosis, future research endeavors can facilitate the development of evidence-based treatments that target its underlying cause.

Source: Male Oxidative Stress Infertility – The World Journal of Men’s Health