A Correlation Study between Steroid Hormone Levels and Anti-Sperm Antibodies in Serum and Seminal Plasma of Men with or without Reduced Sperm Motility


  • National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Reproductive Biomedicine, New Delhi, 110067, India


Male infertility is a multi-factorial disorder. The functional ability of spermatozoa is primarily determined by their motility. Many factors are responsible for reduction in sperm motility but immunological and / or hormonal factors are vital. At present, the impact of immunological factor along with hormonal imbalance in reducing sperm motility is not known. In the present study, steroid hormones (testosterone, estradiol, progesterone and cortisol) and anti-sperm antibodies (ASAB) were measured in serum and seminal plasma of males with normal or reduced sperm motility. The ASAB was not detected in serum samples of volunteers with normal sperm motility but detected in 22.7% of serum samples of volunteers with low sperm motility. On the other hand ASAB was detected in seminal plasma of volunteers with normal sperm motility (31.8%) and low sperm motility (36.3%). Significantly low levels of testosterone and cortisol (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively), and significantly high levels of estradiol and progesterone (p<0.005 and p<0.001, respectively) were observed in the seminal plasma of samples with low sperm motility when compared with samples with normal sperm motility. A correlation was observed between presence of ASAB and altered steroid levels such as low cortisol, and high progesterone and estradiol in seminal plasma of volunteers with low sperm motility. There was no difference in serum steroid levels. These results suggest a relationship between testicular steroid hormone levels with autoimmunity to sperm antibodies.


Anti-Sperm Antibodies, Male Infertility, Sex Steroids, Sperm Motility.

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