Semen parameters in men with spinal cord injury: changes and aetiology


Dr Mohamed Arafa, Andrology Department, Cairo University, 61 Wadi El Nile Street, Mohandeseen, Giza 12411, Egypt. Tel: +966-3897-2262 Fax: +96-6389-40936/+96-6386-41107 E-mail:


Aim: To assess the changes in semen parameters in men with spinal cord injury (SCI) and the possible causes of these changes. Methods: The study included 45 subjects with SCI. Semen retrieval was done by masturbation (2), vigorous prostatic massage (n= 13), penile vibratory stimulation (n= 13) or electroejaculation (n= 17). Results: The semen of men with SCI showed normal volume (2.3 ± 1.9 mL) and sperm count (85.0 × 106± 83.8 × 106/mL) with decreased motility (11.6%± 10.1%), vitality (18.5%± 15.2%) and normal forms (17.5 ± 13.4%), and pus cells has been increased (6.0 × 106± 8.2 × 106/mL). Total (13.4 ± 9.9 vs. 7.1 ± 6.8) and progressive (4.4 ± 3.9 vs. 2.2 ± 2.1) motility were significantly higher in subjects with lower scrotal temperatures. There was no statistical significant difference between electroejaculation and penile vibratory stimulation groups as regards any of the semen parameters. Subjects’age, infrequent ejaculation, injury duration and hormonal profile showed no significant effect on semen parameters. Conclusion: The defining characteristics of the seminogram in men with SCI are normal volume and count with decreased sperm motility, vitality and normal forms, and the increased number of pus cells. The most acceptable cause of the deterioration of semen is elevated scrotal temperature.