Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for poor semen quality: A case-referent study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • J. A. Clyma
  • R. McNamee
  • H. D. Moore
  • H. Baillie
  • A. A. Pacey
  • N. M. Cherry


STUDY QUESTION Are common lifestyle factors associated with low-motile sperm concentration (MSC)? SUMMARY ANSWER Common lifestyle choices make little contribution to the risk of low MSC. WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS Reviews of male subfertility often highlight how aspects of men's adult lifestyle can significantly increase their risk of subfertility but the strength of supporting evidence is weak. In this study, although low MSC was associated with a history of testicular surgery, being in manual work, not wearing loose underwear and black ethnicity, no relation was found to consumption of alcohol, use of tobacco or recreational drugs or high body mass index (BMI). These results suggest that delaying assisted conception to make changes to lifestyle is unlikely to enhance conception. DESIGN Unmatched case-referent study with 939 cases and 1310 referents. Cases had a low-MSC relative to the time since last ejaculation (

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2799-2806
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012