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Open Access

Impact of seasonal variation, age and smoking status on human semen parameters: The Massachusetts General Hospital experience

  • Zuying Chen1Email author,
  • Linda Godfrey-Bailey2,
  • Isaac Schiff1 and
  • Russ Hauser1, 2
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction20041:2

https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-1050-1-2

Received: 23 September 2004

Accepted: 30 September 2004

Published: 30 September 2004

Abstract

Background

To investigate the relationship of human semen parameters with season, age and smoking status.

Methods

The present study used data from subjects recruited into an ongoing cross-sectional study on the relationship between environmental agents and semen characteristics. Our population consisted of 306 patients who presented to the Vincent Memorial Andrology Laboratory of Massachusetts General Hospital for semen evaluation. Sperm concentration and motility were measured with computer aided sperm analysis (CASA). Sperm morphology was scored using Tygerberg Kruger strict criteria. Regression analyses were used to investigate the relationships between semen parameters and season, age and smoking status, adjusting for abstinence interval.

Results

Sperm concentration in the spring was significantly higher than in winter, fall and summer (p < 0.05). There was suggestive evidence of higher sperm motility and percent of sperm with normal morphology in the spring than in the other seasons. There were no statistically significant relationships between semen parameters and smoking status, though current smokers tended to have lower sperm concentration. We also did not find a statistically significant relationship between age and semen parameters.

Conclusions

We found seasonal variations in sperm concentration and suggestive evidence of seasonal variation in sperm motility and percent sperm with normal morphology. Although smoking status was not a significant predictor of semen parameters, this may have been due to the small number of current smokers in the study.

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