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Volume 17, Issue 2 (March 2015) 17, 298–303; doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.143251

The reference values for semen parameters of 1213 fertile men in Guangdong Province in China

Yun‑Ge Tang1,2,3, Li‑Xin Tang1,2,3, Qi‑Ling Wang1,2,3, Ge Song1,4, Yan‑Jia Jiang1,2, Shun‑Mei Deng1,2, Fang Jiang1,2,3, Wei‑Bing Qin1,2,3

1Key Laboratory of Male Reproductive and Genetics, National Health and Family Planning Commission, Guangzhou 510600, China; 2Department of Male Reproduction, Family Planning Research Institute of Guangdong, Guangzhou 510600, China; 3Human Sperm Bank of Guangdong Province, Guanzghou 510600, China; 4Reproductive Medicine Center, Family Planning Research Institute of Guangdong, Guangzhou 510600, China.

Correspondence: Dr. YG Tang (tyg813@126.com) or Dr. WB Qin (guardqin@163.com)



Semen samples were collected from 1213 fertile men whose partners had a time‑to‑pregnancy (TTP) ≤12 months in Guangdong Province in Southern China, and semen parameters including semen volume, sperm concentration, total counts, motility, and morphology were evaluated according to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2010 guideline. All semen parameters analyzed were normal in ~62.2% of the total samples, whereas ~37.8% showed at least one of the semen parameters below normal threshold values. The fifth centiles (with 95% confidence intervals) were 1.3 (1.2–1.5) ml for semen volume, 20 × 106 (18×106–20×106) ml−1 for sperm concentration, 40 × 106 (38×106–44×106) per ejaculate for total sperm counts, 48% (47%–53%) for vitality, 39% (36%–43%) for total motility, 25% (23%–27%) for sperm progressive motility, 5.0% (4%–5%) for normal morphology. The pH values ranged from 7.2 to 8.0 with the mean ± standard deviation at 7.32 ± 0.17. No effects of age and body mass index were found on semen parameters. Occupation, smoking and alcohol abuse, varicocele appeared to decrease semen quality. Sperm concentration, but not sperm morphology, is positively correlated with TTP, whereas vitality is negatively correlated with TTP. Our study provides the latest reference values for the semen parameters of Chinese fertile men in Guangdong Province, which are close to those described in the new WHO guidelines (5th Edition).

Keywords: Chinese fertile men; semen parameters; semen quality; time‑to‑pregnancy

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