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Diabetes mellitus and abnormalities in semen analysis


  • Part of the data presented as poster in American Society of Reproductive Medicine Annual congress, October 2012.



The aim of this study was to compare the semen parameters of diabetic husbands of infertile couples with those of non-diabetic husbands of proven fertility.

Material and Methods

Assuming a 5% fall in DNA integrity of sperms would affect fertility, the required sample size calculated was 103, with 80% power and 5% level of significance. During the study period (January 2010 to May 2012), 52 husbands were found to have diabetes mellitus, by 2-h/post 75 g of glucose load (≥200 mg %). Glycosylated hemoglobin level in each case was found to be more than 6.5% (study group). During the same period, six couples with infertility conceived spontaneously while undergoing evaluations, 60 couples conceived following treatment of ovulatory disorders in wives and all had ongoing pregnancies (more than 12 weeks). Husbands of these 66 couples were found to be non-diabetic (control group). Conventional semen analysis (World Health Organization criteria), hypo-osmotic swelling test and DNA integrity test (Acridine Orange test) were done in all cases. Body mass index was measured in each case.


There were no differences in the mean age and body mass index between the two groups but significant differences were found in the following parameters: volume of the ejaculate (P = 0.004); total cells per ejaculate (P = 0.01); percent motility (P = 0.0001); total motile cells per ejaculate (P = 0.0001); percent of rapid progressive motility (P = 0.0001); percent normal morphology (P = 0.02); percent hypo-osmotic swelling test (0.0001); and percent normal DNA integrity (P = 0.0001).


Diabetes mellitus can affect spermatogenesis at various levels, which can cause male-factor infertility.

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