Essence of Some Trace Elements in Seminal Fluid and Their Role in Infertility

Abdalla Asaf Abed


This study is aimed to compare the levels of zinc, copper, iron and magnesium in the seminal plasma of infertile group and control group, to find out relationships in male infertile group between these elements and both seminal characteristics, serum reproductive male hormones (Luteinizing hormone, Follicle stimulating hormone, and testosterone), and also to understand the biological significance of such elements in male infertility. Seventy two infertile male subjects, without any treatment who had regular unprotected intercourse for at least 12 months without conception, aged 20-50 years, were selected from the central infertility center Al Shifa hospital, Gaza, Palestine. Seventy two known fertile males selected as control group from general population (their wives had given birth to a child within one year). Semen samples analyzed according to WHO criteria and seminal plasma trace elements were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Serum samples for endocrine studies were measured by (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) ELISA. Our results showed that the mean values of zinc (68.9 mg/L) and magnesium (67.1mg/L) were significantly lower in infertile men compared to controls zinc (122mg/L) and magnesium (120 mg/L). Almost all studied seminal parameters (sperm count, forward motility, weak motile and non-motile) were significantly lower in infertile group compared to controls (P<0.001, P<0.001, P<0.05, P<0.001, respectively) as well as hormonal parameters (LH and Testosterone) in the infertile group were significantly lower compared to the control group (p<0.05). There was no significance difference between means of FSH levels (p>0.05). Correlation analysis in infertile group showed that while seminal plasma zinc and magnesium levels are directly proportional to sperm count (r=0.376, P=0.001 and r=0.293, P=0.013 respectively), and testosterone (r=0.293, P=0.012 and r=0.324, P=0.003 respectively), it is indirectly proportional to seminal volume (r=-0.251, P=0.034 and r=-0.369 P=0.001respectively).  The results obtained in our study indicate that both zinc and magnesium are important for both spermatogenesis and steroid genesis.


Trace elements; Male Infertility; Semen Composition;

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