Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Surgery


Objective: To compare stress markers and antioxidants in fertile and infertile males, and to explore their effects on reproductive hormones and fertility.
Methods: The cross-sectional case-control study was conducted from July 2017 to July 2018 at the Islamabad Clinic Serving Infertile Couples, Islamabad, Pakistan, and comprised male subjects aged 25-55 years. Infertile subjects were the cases, while healthy fertile males acted as the controls. Stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and antioxidants glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data was analysed using SPSS 22.
Results: Of the 376 subjects, 241(64%) were cases and 135(36%) were controls. Median cortisol, adrenaline, superoxide dismutase and glutathione levels were significantly higher among the cases compared to te controls (p<0.05). Follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels were higher in cases compared to the controls (p=0.05). Mean testosterone level was higher among the controls than the cases (p<0.001). After adjusting for other covariates, every increase of 7 units in cortisol increased the prevalence of infertility by 3% (p=0.001). There was significant interaction between luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the final model (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Stress together with decrease in antioxidants was found to play a significant role in reducing the fertilising potential of male infertile subjects.

Publication (Name of Journal)

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association