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Effects of ejaculation-to-analysis delay on levels of markers of epididymal and accessory sex gland functions and sperm motility.

Research paper by Saad S Elzanaty, Johan J Malm

Indexed on: 08 Jun '07Published on: 08 Jun '07Published in: Journal of Andrology



Abstract

This study aimed to examine the association between the interval from ejaculation to analysis and epididymal and accessory sex gland function in relation to sperm motility. Ejaculates from 1079 men assessed for infertility were analyzed according to World Health Organization guidelines. Biochemical markers were measured in semen to assess the function of the epididymis (neutral alpha-glucosidase [NAG]), prostate (prostate-specific antigen [PSA] and zinc), and seminal vesicles (fructose). Three groups were defined according to time from ejaculation to analysis: G(< or =30) (24-30 minutes), G(31-60) (31-60 minutes), and G(>60) (63-180 minutes). The proportion of progressively motile sperm was significantly lower in G(>60) than in G(< or =30) (mean difference, 8.0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0%-13%) or G(31-60) (mean difference, 6.0%; 95% CI, 1.0%-12%). The proportion of rapid progressive sperm motility was significantly higher in G(< or =30) compared with G(31-60) (mean difference, 3.0%; 95% CI, 1.0%-5.0%) and G(>60) (mean difference, 6.0%; 95% CI, 1.0%-10%). Sperm morphology and viability did not vary significantly between the groups. However, PSA levels in G(>60) were 29% and 31% significantly lower than in G(< or =30) (95% CI, 3.0%-54%) and G(31-60) (95% CI, 7.0%-58%), respectively. Moreover, men in G(>60) had 29% and 17% significantly lower zinc compared with those in G(< or =30) (95% CI, 4.0%-69%) and G(31-60) (95% CI, 4.0%-64%), respectively. Levels of NAG and fructose did not differ significantly between the groups. There were negative associations between the ejaculation-to-analysis interval and sperm motility and levels of PSA and zinc. In male infertility assessments, semen analysis should be performed within 60 minutes of ejaculation.