Clinical Consequences of Oxidative Stress in Male Infertility

Tamer M. Said, Sheila R. Gokul, and Ashok Agarwal

Abstract Male infertility affects 40% of infertile couples in the USA and may be attributed to conditions such as varicocele, leukocytospermia, infection, and idiopathic infertility. Such conditions may be associated with elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), decreased antioxidants, and oxidative stress (OS). OS can lead to male infertility in both an in vitro and in vivo setting. The negative effects of ROS on male fertility present as sperm DNA damage, decreasing motility, apopto-sis, and lipid peroxidation. ROS and antioxidant levels can be measured and quantified in order to detect OS in semen samples. Both oral antioxidant therapy and culture media supplementation have proven to be effective in reducing OS. Future research is still needed in order to better understand the mechanisms involved in oxidative damage in the context of male infertility and to improve the treatments available for patients with OS-mediated male factor infertility.

Keywords Male infertility • Oxidative stress • Reactive oxygen species • Varicocele • Infection • Leukocytospermia • Idiopathic infertility • DNA damage • Antioxidants

* This research was conducted at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland, OH.

Andrology Laboratory and Reproductive Tissue Bank, The Toronto Institute for Reproductive Medicine, 56 Aberfoyle Crescent, Toronto, ON, Canada M8X2W4

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA e-mail: [email protected]

A. Agarwal et al. (eds.), Studies on Men's Health and Fertility, Oxidative Stress 535

in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice, DOI 10.1007/978-1-61779-776-7_24, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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