Oxidative DNA damage in human sperm influences time to pregnancy

Steffen Loft, Tina Kold-Jensen, Niels Henrik Hjollund, Aleksander Giwercman, Jesper Gyllemborg, Erik Ernst, Jørn Olsen, Thomas Scheike, Henrik Enghusen Poulsen, Jens Peter Bonde


BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress and related DNA damage in human sperm may be important for fecundity and pregnancy outcome.

METHODS: We studied the level of oxidative DNA damage in terms of 7-hydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in sperm DNA among 225 first-pregnancy planners. Over the six menstrual cycle follow-up time, after cessation of contraception, 135 pregnancies were conceived.

RESULTS: The likelihood of pregnancy occurring in a single menstrual cycle was inversely associated with the 8-oxodG level (P < 0.01). The odds ratio of pregnancy in each of the first three or all six follow-up menstrual cycles was 0.42 (0.23-0.78; 95% CI) and 0.61 (0.36-0.91) per unit increase in the log 8-oxodG/100 000 dG ratio after adjustment for potential confounders, (including sperm concentration) respectively. The intra-individual coefficient of variation of 8-oxodG in 2-6 monthly repeated sperm samples from 116 men was 19% for the 8-oxodG/dG ratio, whereas the inter-individual coefficient of variation was 49%. The 8-oxodG level was not significantly associated with smoking, consumption of alcohol or caffeine, exposure to welding fumes or the plasma levels of sex hormones.

CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that oxidative damage to sperm DNA influences fecundity and the level of damage is relatively constant within an individual and not influenced by smoking.

TidsskriftHuman reproduction (Oxford, England)
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)1265-72
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2003


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