Pattern of semen fluid abnormalities in male partners of infertile couples in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Husein AlEnezi, Ahmed M Isa, Basim Abu-Rafea, Khaled Madbouly, Saleh Binsaleh
Canadian Journal of Urology 2014, 21 (3): 7322-5

INTRODUCTION: A decline in semen quality in men with increasing percentage of male factor abnormalities in infertile couples has been reported. The pattern of abnormalities differs from one part of the world to another, and it is probably multifactorial. Our objectives were to review the pattern of semen fluid abnormalities in Saudi male partners of infertile couples, to establish prevalence and help future identification of responsible etiologies and possible treatments.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of semen analysis results of male partners of infertile couples examined in a dedicated infertility clinic, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from January 2009 through December 2011.

RESULTS: A total of 1485 male semen analysis reports were reviewed. According to 1999 WHO reference values for normal semen analysis, 61 (4.1%) of patients had normal semen parameters while 149 (10%) had azoospermia. Half of the samples (783, 52.7%) had single factor abnormality; the majority (97%) being teratospermia. Oligo-teratospermia was evident in 133 (9%) of the samples constituting nearly half of those who had 2 factor abnormality. Oligo-astheno-teratospermia was encountered in 191 (12.9%) patients. Oligospermia was evident in 403 (27.2%) patients; 52% of them had sperm concentrations of more than 10 million/mL. Twelve patients had only low volume ejaculate.

CONCLUSION: A high percentage of semen fluid and sperm morphology abnormalities were found in males of infertile couples in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which may contribute to subfertility. Further studies are needed to address possible etiologies and treatment of oligospermia and teratospermia in our region in order to improve fertility rates.

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