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The effects of lignocaine on human sperm motility


The purpose of this study was to assess the motility of human sperm incubated with various concentrations of lignocaine.


Eleven semen samples with a sperm density ⩾20 ×10 6 ml and progressive motility ⩾40% were prepared using a swim-up technique. Aliquots from each sample were incubated for 4 hr under capacitating conditions with lignocaine concentrations of 100, 10, 1, and 0.1 µg/ml and without additional lignocaine as a control. Digital computerized motion analysis was performed on all samples at 1, 2, and 4 hr after the addition of lignocaine.


After 2 hr of incubation a significant (P <0.05) increase in the percentage of sperm with a curvilinear velocity >100 µm/sec was observed in those samples incubated with 100 µg/ml lignocaine. This stimulatory effect was no longer apparent after a further 2 hr of incubation. No other significant changes were identified in any of the motility parameters examined.


No adverse effects on human sperm motility were identified during incubation with low concentrations of lignocaine. A transient stimulatory effect was observed at a lignocaine concentration of 100 µg/ml.

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Correspondence to Stephen John Bennett.

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Bennett, S.J., Bolton, V. & Parsons, J. The effects of lignocaine on human sperm motility. J Assist Reprod Genet 9, 271–273 (1992).

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Key words

  • lignocaine
  • human
  • sperm
  • motility