Geographical differences in semen characteristics: Comparing semen parameters of infertile men of the United States and Iraq

The declining trend of male fecundity is a major global health and social concern. Among numerous other confounding factors, variations in male fertility parameters in different regions have repeatedly been suggested to be influenced by geographic locations. The impact of overall lifestyle, behavioural patterns, ethnicity, work stress and associated factors upon health differ greatly between developed and developing countries. These factors, individually or in combination, affect male reproductive functions ensuing the discrepancies in semen qualities in connection with geographic variations. However, reports comparing semen characteristics between developed and developing countries are sparse. The present study finds its novelty in presenting a comparison in semen parameters of infertile men in the United States (n = 76) that fairly represents the population of a highly developed region and Iraq (n = 102), the representative of male populations of a developing region. Samples were collected and analysed according to WHO (WHO laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen, WHO; 2010) criteria by means of the Mann–Whitney test. The US population demonstrated lower sperm concentration, total count, and total and progressive sperm motility with a higher seminal total antioxidant capacity (TAC) as compared to the Iraqi population. This report encourages further investigations concerning the confounding factors leading to such alterations in semen qualities between these two geographic areas.

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