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Abstract

Volume 17, Issue 4 (July 2015) 17, 676–680; doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.143738

A comparative evaluation of semen parameters in pre- and post- Hurricane Katrina human population

Caner Baran, Wayne J Hellstrom, Suresh C Sikka

Department of Urology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA

Correspondence: Dr. SC Sikka (ssikka@tulane.edu)

2015-2-13

Abstract

A natural disaster leading to accumulation of environmental contaminants may have substantial effects on the male reproductive system. Our aim was to compare and assess semen parameters in a normospermic population residing in the Southern Louisiana, USA area pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina. We retrospectively evaluated semen analyses data (n = 3452) of 1855 patients who attended the Tulane University Andrology/Fertility Clinic between 1999 and 2013. The study inclusion criteria were men whose semen analyses showed ≥ 1.5 ml volume; ≥15 million ml -1 sperm concentration; ≥39 million total sperm count; ≥40% motility; >30% morphology, with an abstinence interval of 2-7 days. After the inclusion criteria applied to the population, 367 normospermic patients were included in the study. Descriptive statistics and group-based analyses were performed to interpret the differences between the pre-Katrina (Group 1, 1999-2005) and the post-Katrina (Group 2, 2006-2013) populations. There were significant differences in motility, morphology, number of white blood cell, immature germ cell count, pH and presence of sperm agglutination, but surprisingly there were no significant differences in sperm count between the two populations. This long-term comparative analysis further documents that a major natural disaster with its accompanied environmental issues can influence certain semen parameters (e.g., motility and morphology) and, by extension, fertility potential of the population of such areas.

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