Joseph MD, Hatch EE, Koenig MR, Eisenberg ML, Wang TR, Sommer GJ, Stuver SO, Rothman KJ, Wise LA. A North American study of anthropometric factors and semen quality. Fertil Steril. 2023 Sep 1;120(3 Pt 2):586-96. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2023.04.040.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between anthropometric measures and semen parameters.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SUBJECTS: Male participants aged ≥21 years. We analyzed data from 659 males (1185 samples) participating in a semen testing substudy of the Pregnancy Online Study (PRESTO), a North American preconception cohort study. After enrollment, we invited males aged ≥21 years to perform at-home semen testing using the Trak system.

EXPOSURE(S): Participants reported selected anthropometric variables (current weight, height, waist circumference, and weight at age 17 years) and covariate data via an online baseline questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): We used generalized estimating equations models to estimate the percent difference in mean log-transformed semen parameter values and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between selected anthropometric variables and semen volume (mL), sperm concentration (million/mL), and total sperm count (million), adjusting for sociodemographics, lifestyle factors, and medical history. We also evaluated World Health Organization-defined thresholds for low semen quality.

RESULTS(S): Percentage differences in mean log-transformed semen volume, sperm concentration, and total sperm count (95% CI) comparing current body mass index ≥35 vs. <25 kg/m2 were -6.3 (-15.8, 4.3), -6.4 (-24.6, 16.2), and -12.2 (-31.1, 11.8), respectively. Percentage differences (95% CIs) comparing waist circumferences of ≥42 vs. <31 inches were -4.2 (-15.0, 8.0), -6.4 (-27.6, 21.0), and -10.4 (-31.9, 17.9) for semen volume, sperm concentration, and total sperm count, respectively. Greater adult weight gain since age 17 years was associated with reduced semen volume (≥25 vs. <5 kg; percent difference, -9.7; 95% CI, -18.4, 0.1), but not sperm concentration or total sperm count. The highest categories of each anthropometric variable generally were associated with World Health Organization-defined low total sperm count (≤39 million).

CONCLUSION(S): Selected anthropometric factors were associated modestly with poorer semen quality.

Share on: