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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2012, Article ID 649149, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/649149
Clinical Study

Male Fertility and Reduction in Semen Parameters: A Single Tertiary-Care Center Experience

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, International Scientific Institute “Paolo VI”, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy
2Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Clinical Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy
3Institute of Bioethics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy

Received 12 September 2011; Accepted 19 October 2011

Academic Editor: Maria L. Dufau

Copyright © 2012 D. Milardi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Infertility is both a clinical and a public problem, affecting the life of the couple, the healthcare services, and social environment. Standard semen analysis is the surrogate measure of male fertility in clinical practice. Objective. To provide information about the relationship between semen parameters and spontaneous conception. Methods. We evaluated retrospectively 453 pregnancies that occurred among 2935 infertile couples evaluated at an infertility clinic of a tertiary-care university hospital, between 2004 and 2009. Results. Normal semen analysis was present only in 158 patients; 295 subfertile patients showed alterations in at least one seminal parameter. A reduction in all seminal parameters was observed in 41 patients. Etiological causes of male infertility were identified in 314 patients. Conclusion. Our data highlights the possibility of a spontaneous conception with semen parameters below WHO reference values. Therefore, we support the importance of defining reference values on a population of fertile men. Finally, we analyzed the related ethical issues.