The effect of ethnicity on semen analysis and hormones in the infertile patient

  • Nahid Punjani Division of Urology, Western University, London, ON, Canada
  • Madhur Nayan Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Keith Jarvi Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Kirk Lo Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Susan Lau Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Ethan D. Grober Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Keywords: ethnicity, semen parameters, hormone levels

Abstract

Introduction: We aimed to study the association of ethnicity on semen parameters and hormones in patients presenting with infertility.

Methods: Data from men presenting for infertility assessment were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed. Demographic and clinical history was self-reported. Semen analysis included volume, count, motility, morphology, and vitality. The 2010 World Health Organization cutoffs were used. Baseline total testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were recorded. Ethnicity data was classified as Caucasian, African Canadian, Asian, Indo-Canadian, Native Canadian, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern. All patients with complete data were included and statistical analysis was performed.

Results: A total of 9079 patients were reviewed, of which 3956 patients had complete data. Of these, 839 (21.2%) were azoospermic. After adjusting for age, African Canadians (odds ratio [OR] 1.70; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28‒2.25) and Asians (1.34; 95% CI 1.11‒1.62) were more likely to be azoospermic compared to Caucasians. Similarly, African Canadians (OR 1.75; 95% CI 1.33‒2.29) were more likely to be oligospermic and Asians (OR 0.82; 95% CI 0.70‒0.97) less likely to be oligospermic. Low volume was found in African Canadian (OR 1.42; 95% CI 1.05‒1.91), Asians (OR 1.23; 95% CI 1.01‒1.51), and Indo-Canadians (OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.01‒2.13). Furthermore, Asians (OR 0.73; 95% CI 0.57‒0.93) and Hispanics (OR 0.58; 95% CI 034‒0.99) were less likely to have asthenospermia. Asians (OR 0.73; 95% CI 0.57‒0.94) and Indo- Canadians (OR 0.58; 95% CI 0.35‒0.99) were less likely to have teratozospermia. No differences were seen for vitality. No differences were seen for FSH levels, however, Asians (p<0.01) and Indo- Canadians (p<0.01) were more likely to have lower testosterone.

Conclusions: Our study illustrates that variations in semen analyses and hormones exist in men with infertility. This may provide insight into the workup and management for infertile men from different ethnicities.

Published
2019-07-23
How to Cite
Punjani, N., Nayan, M., Jarvi, K., Lo, K., Lau, S., & Grober, E. D. (2019). The effect of ethnicity on semen analysis and hormones in the infertile patient. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 14(2), 31-5. https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.5897
Section
Original Research