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Exercise improves semen quality and reproductive hormone levels

Exercising constantly has many health benefits such as improving the quality and volume of semen and levels of reproductive or sexual hormones, including growth hormone, testosterone, estradiol, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) , Luteinizing hormone (LH), among others... Men who do exercise produce better quality semen.

Exercising improves semen quality. To demonstrate this, I will analyze a study where this hypothesis was tested (exercise would improve semen quality) in adults with obesity ... since in them it will observed the most significant possible changes ... that is ... If this study were carried out on trained healthy men then probably the changes between the before and after period of some training would not be significant because these healthy trained people could already be at their highest peak for their good habits of life (good volumen and quality of sperm among other facts).

How to increase the production of semen? Of course, improving the quality of semen or sperm also improves fertility directly ... and obviously also the levels of reproductive and sexual hormones mentioned, among others, should also have improved since the optimization of the endocrine system (and health in general) is what causes the semen to improve its quality (volume, sperm concentration, mobility and morphology)... then, exercise may be the key to better sperm .

Exercise improves semen quality and reproductive hormone levels in obese sedentary adults

NOTE: Remember that this study was carried out on men with unfavorable living conditions (obesity, physical inactivity), in order to see if there were or were not significant changes in several weeks undergoing aerobic training... Exercise linked to healthier semen.

Aim of the study: The study I will analyze aims to demonstrate precisely that after performing aerobic exercise for 16 weeks ... these men who were initially sedentary and obese achieved a significant improvement in the quality of their semen and therefore levels of reproductive hormones.

Material and methods of the study: Ninety obese adults were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 45) or control group (n = 45). Participants in the intervention group performed a 16-week aerobic training program on a treadmill, three sessions per week ... the control group did not performed any exercise training routine.

The intervention group first started with slow walk for the warm-up phase (10-15 minutes), then with 35-50 minutes (increasing five minutes every four weeks) at a working intensity of between 50% -65% of the frequency Maximal heart rate (increasing by 5% every four weeks) ... and ending with a calm phase carried out for 5-10 minutes.

Semen quality evaluation included semen volume, sperm concentration and percentages of progressive motility and normal morphology. Serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and estradiol were determined by ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay). Body composition and physical fitness were also evaluated.

Results of the study: After completion of the training program, sperm count, motility and normal morphology increased significantly. A second key finding was that exercise improved reproductive hormone levels by increasing serum testosterone. Finally, significant correlations were found between seminal results and abdominal obesity.

Conclusion: A short-term intervention program based on aerobic training improved semen quality in sedentary obese adults. This finding can be explained, at least in part, by an improvement in the profile of reproductive hormones.

Body mass index and central adiposity are associated with sperm quality in men of subfertile couples

Of course high levels of body fat are associated with a low quality in semen or sperm. For this reason the study analyzed above was carried out in people with obesity ... and for this same reason I will make the analysis of this study where a direct correlation between BMI and adiposity (body fat level) is shown, and the quality of semen.

Introduction: The incidence of overweight and obesity in men at reproductive ages is increasing, which may affect semen quality and thus fertility. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the associations between BMI, central adiposity and sperm parameters in men of subfertile couples.

METHODS: The volume of ejaculation (mL), sperm concentration (millions per mL), percentage of moving and immobile moving spermatozoa and total mobile spermatozoa (millions) were measured in 450 men of subfertile couples who visited one Tertiary office for reproductive treatment and pre-conception counseling.

Results: fat overweight was negatively associated with percentage of progressive motility type A [β -0.32 (SE 0.2), P = 0.036] and was positively associated with the percentage of immobility type C [β 0, 21 (SE 0.07), P = 0.002].

Obesity was negatively associated with the volume of ejaculation [β -0.23 (SE 0.1), P = 0.02], sperm concentration [β -0.77 (SE 0.3), P = 0.006] And total sperm count [β -0.91 (SE 0.3) P = 0.007].

Waist circumference ≥ 102 cm, a measure for central adiposity, was inversely associated with sperm concentration [β -0.69 (SE 0.2), P = 0.001] and the total sperm count [β - 0.62 (SE 0.3), P = 0.02]. All associations remained significant after adjusting for age, ethnicity, active and passive habit, alcohol and drug consumption, and folate status.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that, in particular, sperm concentration and total sperm cell count in men of subfertile couples are negatively affected by high BMI and central adiposity. The effect of weight loss on sperm quality and fertility needs further research.

General conclusions

Exercise improves semen quality and reproductive hormone levels
- Although this second study mentions that simple weight loss may require additional studies to find a close relationship between this factor and the improvement in semen quality, we know from the analysis of the previous study shows that at least the constant practice of physical exercise can help improve sperm quality.

- Based on the above we could say that not necessarily "lose weight" means "improving the quality of sperm" since physical exercise can increase a person's lean mass (muscle mass) and at the time may reduce their levels of body fat, so the overall weight may not decrease (at least not significantly) and in fact could increase especially when the exercises require high intensity.

- Perhaps helping to lose weight only through good eating habits (without the practice of physical exercise) is not enough to greatly improve the quality of semen. More studies are needed for this.

- Although it is related the practice of aerobic exercise with the improvement in semen quality ... anaerobic exercise and therefore of higher intensity exercises (with or without weights) can also help to improve semen quality in addition to the production of sex hormones and reproductive and therefore to significantly improve the quality of semen ... but, high intensity exercise should not be performed by overtraining or otherwise could cause the opposite effect (low hormone production and perhaps decrease in quality Of semen).

- The quality of the semen (volume, sperm count, etc.) would also be closely linked to nutrition. So the simple fact of practicing exercise may not be enough to significantly improve the quality of sperm ... for this reason I will mention the following study that relates good or bad nutrition with semen quality and therefore fertility.

Possible causes of infertility: the impact of nutrition on semen quality

Objective: To review the possible causes of male factor subfertility with emphasis on nutritional factors such as zinc and folate.

Design: A bibliographic search was carried out in MEDLINE and bibliographies of published works.

Results: The literature describes many causes of male infertility. Both environmental and genetic factors could play a role against semen quality. However, the pathogenesis of infertility is poorly understood, including the role of specific micronutrients such as zinc and folate ... Both zinc and folate are involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA ... Although Zinc deficiency leads to several clinical symptoms, such as decreased spermatogenesis and decreased male fertility, the exact pathophysiology has not been clarified.

Conclusion: due to most of the causes of male infertility are unknown, more research is needed. Because male infertility due to nutritional deficiencies is in principle amenable to curative and / or preventive action by supplementation, emphasis should be placed on studies on the effect of specific nutrients on male fertility.

TO FINALIZE: Good habits of life together ... ie good nutrition, exercise and others like sleeping well and avoiding stress, would help improve the overall health of both men and women ... both will improve the production of reproductive hormones ... and in the case of men all these factors together can help improve the quality of semen.


Rosety, M. (2017). Exercise improved semen quality and reproductive hormone levels in sedentary obese adults.

Fatima, H. et. al (2012). Body mass index and central adiposity are associated with sperm quality in men of subfertile couples.

Wong WY, Thomas CM, Merkus JM, Zielhuis GA, Steegers-Theunissen RP (2000). Male factor subfertility: possible causes and the impact of nutritional factors, Fertil Steril , 2000, vol. 73 (pg. 435-442)


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