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Volume 19, Issue 6 (November 2017) 19, 625–632; 10.4103/1008-682X.190328

Is age at puberty associated with semen quality and reproductive hormones in young adult life?

Lea LB Lauridsen 1 , Linn H Arendt 1 , Henrik Støvring 2 , Jørn Olsen 3 , Cecilia H Ramlau‑Hansen 1

1 Department of Public Health, Section for Epidemiology, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
2 Department of Public Health, Section for Biostatistics, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
3 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

Correspondence: Dr. LLB Lauridsen (llbl@ph.au.dk)

Date of Submission 29-Apr-2016 Date of Decision 25-Jul-2016 Date of Acceptance 22-Aug-2016 Date of Web Publication 04-Nov-2016


The evidence is scarce on the association between age at puberty and semen quality. A cohort of 320 Danish men aged 18-21 years enrolled in the "Healthy Habits for Two" birth cohort provided self-reported data on pubertal indicators and delivered semen and blood samples. The results indicated an association between older age at pubertal development and lower semen quality and altered reproductive hormones concentrations as measured in young adult life. Men who had their first nocturnal emission, start of pubic hair growth and first voice break episode when older than 15 years had 37.0%, 45.0% and 32.7% lower sperm concentration; 37.8%, 44.2% and 29.1% lower total sperm count; 7.4%, 13.4% and 15.3% lower testosterone concentration; and 21.3%, 1.5% and 3.7% lower inhibin B concentration, respectively, compared with the men who were younger than 13 years at their first pubertal indicators. Only few of the results were statistically significant, but similar tendencies were seen in several of the reproductive parameters suggesting an association between the timing of pubertal development and reproductive health later in life.

Keywords: pubertal development; puberty; reproductive health; reproductive hormones; semen quality

Keywords: pubertal development; puberty; reproductive health; reproductive hormones; semen quality

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