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Volume 24, Issue 1 (January 2022) 24, 73–77; 10.4103/aja202165

The effect of age and abstinence time on semen quality: a retrospective study

Gang-Xin Chen, Hai-Yan Li, Yun-Hong Lin, Zhi-Qing Huang, Peng-Yu Huang, Lin-Cui Da, Hang Shi, Lei Yang, Ye-Bin Feng, Bei-Hong Zheng

Center of Reproductive Medicine, Fujian Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, China

Correspondence: Dr. BH Zheng (zhengbeihong2010@163.com)

Date of Submission 05-Jun-2021 Date of Acceptance 04-Aug-2021 Date of Web Publication 29-Oct-2021


This study analyzed the effects of male age and abstinence time on semen quality and explored the best abstinence time for Chinese males among different age groups. Semen parameters, including sperm kinetics, morphology, and DNA fragmentation index (DFI), were reviewed from 2952 men. Samples were divided into six age groups (≤25 years, 26–30 years, 31–35 years, 36–40 years, 41–45 years, and >45 years) and were divided into six groups according to different abstinence time (2 days, 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, 6 days, and 7 days). The differences in semen quality between the groups were compared, and the effect of age and abstinence time on semen quality was analyzed. Significant differences were observed in semen volume, progressive motility (PR), and DFI among the age groups (all P < 0.05), and no significant differences were observed in sperm morphological parameters (all P > 0.05). There were significant differences in semen volume, PR, and DFI among different abstinence time groups (all P < 0.05) and no significant differences in sperm morphological parameters (all P > 0.05). Pearson analysis showed that male age and abstinence time were both significantly correlated with sperm kinetics and DFI (both P < 0.05), while no significant correlation was found with sperm morphological parameters (all P > 0.05). The box plots and histograms of men's age, abstinence time, and semen quality show that most semen quality parameters differ significantly between the 2 days and 7 days abstinence groups and other groups at different ages. Except for the sperm morphology parameters, sperm kinetic parameters and sperm DFI are linearly related to male age and abstinence time.

Keywords: abstinence time; age; DNA fragmentation index; sperm kinetics; sperm morphology

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