Regional differences in semen quality in Europe
Recent reports have indicated a decrease in semen quality of men in some countries, and suggested regional differences. A study was undertaken of semen samples from 1082 fertile men from four European cities (Copenhagen, Denmark; Paris, France; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Turku, Finland).
Semen analysis was standardized, inter‐ laboratory differences in assessment of sperm concentration were evaluated, and morphology assessment centralized. Lowest sperm concentrations and total counts were detected for Danish men, followed by French and Scottish men. Finnish men had
the highest sperm counts. Men from Edinburgh had the highest proportion of motile spermatozoa, followed by men from Turku, Copenhagen and Paris. Only the differences between Paris/Edinburgh and Paris/ Turku were statistically significant (P < 0.003 and P 0.002 respectively). No significant
differences in morphology were detected. A general seasonal variation in sperm concentration (summer 70% of winter) and total sperm count (summer 72% of winter) was detected. Semen quality of a ‘standardized’ man (30 years old, fertile, ejaculation abstinence of 96 h) were estimated.
Topically, sperm concentrations (x 106/ml) for winter/summer were: Turku 132/93; Edinburgh 119/84; Paris 103/73; and Copenhagen 98/69. These differences in semen quality may indicate different environmental exposures or lifestyle changes in the four populations. However, it remains
to be seen whether such changes can account for these differences. These data may also serve as a reference point for future studies on time trends in semen quality in Europe.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, The Juliane Marie Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark
Universite Paris V, Groupe Hospitalier Cochin, Paris, France
MRC Reproductive Biology Unit, Centre for Reproductive Biology, Edinburgh, UK
University of Turku, Institute of Biomedicine, Turku, Finland
The Fertility Clinic, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen
Publication date: 2001-07-01