Effect of Malignancy on Semen Parameters

Guy Shrem, Liat Azani, Ido Feferkorn, Tamar Listovsky, Sofia Hussaini, Benjamin Farber, Michael H Dahan, Mali Salmon-Divon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: We aimed to examine how various types of cancer, classified histologically, affect semen quality.

METHODS: The study group included 313 patients who were diagnosed with cancer and reached for a sperm cryopreservation before a gonadotoxic treatment (PG-Tx group). Their semen parameters were compared to those of two control groups: (a) individuals who attended a fertility investigation and were found to be above the limit of the lower reference value of the WHO 2010 manual (ARL group), and (b) fertile men, whose semen parameters were obtained from the dataset of the WHO 2020 manual.

RESULTS: Semen quality was significantly poorer in the PG-Tx group than in the ARL group. Differences included a 65.6% decrease in concentration, a 12.1% decrease in volume, a 72.7% decrease in total count, and a 33.0%, 22.2%, and 24.7% decrease in total motility, rapid motility, and progressive motility, respectively. Linear regression models comparing the PG-Tx and ARL groups revealed that the maximum reduction in total motility and concentration was in men with germ-cell tumors, whereas the minimum reduction was in hematological tumors. Similarly, all sperm quality parameters were significantly lower in the PG-Tx group than in the fertile-men group ( p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: While the effect of malignancy on semen parameters is debatable, we found that all examined types of cancer significantly impaired sperm quality parameters. Although the median of most semen parameters of patients with cancer were still in the normal WHO range, their fifth percentile, represents men with a delayed time to pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number922
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2022


  • Malignancy
  • Semen parameters
  • Sperm cryopreservation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology
  • Space and Planetary Science


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