Does Sleep Apnea Affect Sperm Count?
Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
Does sleep apnea affect a man's sperm count? A new study has looked at several parameters to determine whether the disorder affects sperm count. The researchers measured parameters such as motility, morphology, and the presence of antisperm antibodies. Antisperm antibodies are proteins that mistakenly recognize sperm as foreign invaders, and attempt to destroy them, which may contribute to infertility. Short sleep duration and late bedtimes were found to correlate negatively with sperm health and the presence of antisperm antibodies.
obstructive sleep apnea
In a recent study, researchers examined samples from 953 men. The results revealed that poor sleep negatively impacted sperm count. Insufficient sleep resulted in 29 percent fewer sperm in poor sleepers. Even worse, these men were more likely to have dysfunctional sperm, which are less likely to result in pregnancy. However, the study did not address the treatment of sleep disorders.
This study was conducted in men and women with suspected OSA. Men were tested for symptoms and risk factors by the STOPBANG questionnaire. The prevalence of high-risk OSA was 7.5% and 15%, respectively. The used questionnaires had a chi-square test (AUC) of 0.516 and 0.617, respectively. In addition, male gender, snoring, and body mass index were significant risk factors for moderate-to-severe OSA.
Similarly, intermittent hypoxia associated with obstructive sleep apnea has been shown to affect male fertility. Researchers found that this effect may be a result of the increased risk of oxidative stress associated with the disorder. The study also found that this effect was present in male mice. Moreover, male mice with untreated OSA had reduced sperm counts.
Besides reduced sperm counts, a study showed that intermittent hypoxia significantly impaired sperm motility. In addition, intermittent hypoxia resulted in increased levels of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1). Lastly, this effect may be synergistic with aging, and it could also lead to more effective screening for this condition.
While a lot of research is still ongoing, CPAP is currently the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP involves a mouthpiece connected to a machine that maintains the airway during sleep. However, CPAP is associated with some concerns, including discomfort and interfering with sex. However, recent studies have shed light on this issue.
Long-term melatonin use
The question of whether or not melatonin can impact sperm count in men is an interesting one. While the exact mechanism is unknown, it is believed to have antioxidant properties, which can protect sperm from DNA fragmentation. In a study involving eight healthy men, researchers administered 3 mg of melatonin to them every night, while measuring sperm concentration and quality. While six men did not show any significant changes in testosterone and 17-beta-estradiol levels, two men did experience a decrease in sperm concentration.
There are other potential side effects of melatonin, besides its ability to improve sleep, that could impact a man's sperm count. Despite its sleep-promoting abilities, melatonin is also believed to suppress endogenous melatonin secretion. The hormone acts on the reproductive axis and synchronizes sexual behavior to seasons and periods. In addition, melatonin is naturally found in the pineal gland, which helps protect oocytes from oxidative stress.
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Earlier studies have found that long-term melatonin use for the treatment of sleep apnea can have adverse effects on sperm motility. These studies, however, did not take into account the potential role melatonin plays in human reproduction. A study published by Kohn et al. showed that those men with mild or moderate sleep difficulties had significantly higher concentrations of sperm than men with severe or no sleep problems.
Although this study only included men with mild to moderate asthma, it was important to note that the results of this study showed that melatonin improved subjective sleep quality. Additionally, it reduced sleep latency and increased sleep duration. This treatment also improved sperm count in men with stable asthma. Overall, this study was successful in improving sleep quality.
Although long-term melatonin use for the treatment of sleep apnea does not appear to significantly impact sperm count in men, it has been shown to improve the quality of sleep in older adults. Studies have also shown that melatonin may interact with other medications, such as anti-depressants, and melatonin supplements. A sleep diary may be helpful in helping to provide a detailed picture of the problem.
Oxidative stress after euthanasia
The current study investigated whether oxidative stress after euthanasia decreases sperm count in rats. The oxidation status of DCF was assessed using a Johnsen scoring system derived from experimental pathology and human morphology. The criteria were based on the profile of the cells along seminiferous tubules. These criteria ranged from no cells to complete spermatogenesis. The spermatozoa were placed into 2-ml Eppendorf tubes containing 500 mL of pre-warmed Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline solution. Spermatozoa were allowed to swim into the medium for 30 min at a temperature of 35deg C.
Researchers noted that oxidative stress is the most common cause of euthanasia-induced hypofertility. Antioxidants can enhance semen production and improve sperm motility. However, the amount of antioxidants varies greatly between individuals. Consequently, these antioxidants should not be taken as a substitute for endogenous antioxidant systems. Antioxidants can help regulate oxidative stress in normal physiological conditions and promote the evolution of sperm physiology.
In rats, oxidative stress decreases sperm count. A significant increase in oxidative stress was observed after the animals were put under euthanasia. Oxidative stress is also responsible for DNA damage, which has been shown to affect sperm count. Despite its importance, the causes of oxidative stress are still unclear. Scientists are currently using zebrafish to evaluate the effects of oxidative stress and sperm DNA on sperm.
The results of this study are interesting. The study demonstrates that fructose supplementation improves sperm quality. The results also suggest that fructose can reverse ghrelin's effects on sperm count. The researchers also discovered that fructose, in combination with Ghrl, improved sperm motilities. However, the findings do not support a causal relationship between oxidative stress and sperm quality.
Another study used a knockout mouse model to assess the effects of oxidative stress on sperm. Oxidative stress after euthanasia decreased sperm count and decreased sperm quality. In rats, failure to express Gpxs in spermatozoa was associated with infertility, and knockout models have shown that the gene's expression in spermatozoa affects sperm physiology.
Researchers have studied the effect of intermittent hypoxia on sperm motility in mice. The condition reduced the oxidative stress of the testes and significantly reduced sperm progressive motility. However, these findings do not have implications for other reproductive characteristics, such as sperm production, DNA quality, and mating behavior. The next step is to investigate whether intermittent hypoxia or sleep apnea reduces sperm motility in humans.
During a mouse study, researchers evaluated the effect of intermittent hypoxia on testicular tissue and sperm motility. Mice were randomly weighted, placed in experimental cages, and then subjected to intermittent hypoxia for six hours a day. Mice sleep during the light period. A higher PtO2 in the testicles may result in fewer sperm, which is detrimental for male fertility.
The effects of sleep apnea and intermittent hypoxia on sperm quality have been questioned, but there is growing evidence that this condition can negatively impact sperm production. Some studies have concluded that sleep apnea can lead to low sperm count in men. However, there are no conclusive data on this, but they do suggest that OSA may be a contributing factor.
Future research should identify the cellular and molecular signaling pathways that may contribute to the effects of intermittent hypoxia. Furthermore, future studies need to investigate the impact of intermittent hypoxia on ventilatory control and sperm production. However, in the meantime, this study is a promising first step. The next step is to determine whether the effects of intermittent hypoxia on sperm counts can be reproduced in mice.
Chronic intermittent hypoxia is known to play a role in cardiovascular pathogenesis in patients with OSA. Researchers placed male Sprague Dawley rats in plexiglass chambers with air pressure and electronic controls. The rats were given intermittent hypoxia for five weeks, with changes in cardiac structure and function examined using ultrasound. Several markers of cardiac pathology and fibrosis were also assessed using H&E staining, TUNNEL assay, and picosirius staining. Western blot analysis showed increased expression of inflammatory and fibrosis markers.