European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 9, pp 3267–3273 | Cite as

Physically active men show better semen parameters and hormone values than sedentary men

  • Diana VaamondeEmail author
  • Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto
  • Juan Manuel García-Manso
  • Natalibeth Barrera
  • Ricardo Vaamonde-Lemos
Original Article


Physical exercise promotes many health benefits. The present study was undertaken to assess possible semen and hormone differences among physically active (PA) subjects and sedentary subjects (SE). The analyzed qualitative sperm parameters were: volume, sperm count, motility, and morphology; where needed, additional testing was performed. The measured hormones were: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone (T), cortisol (C), and the ratio between T and C (T/C). Maximum oxygen consumption was also assessed to check for differences in fitness level. Statistically significant differences were found for several semen parameters such as total progressive motility (PA: 60.94 ± 5.03; SE: 56.07 ± 4.55) and morphology (PA: 15.54 ± 1.38, SE: 14.40 ± 1.15). The seminological values observed were supported by differences in hormones, with FSH, LH, and T being higher in PA than in SE (5.68 ± 2.51 vs. 3.14 ± 1.84; 5.95 ± 1.11 vs. 5.08 ± 0.98; 7.68 ± 0.77 vs. 6.49 ± 0.80, respectively). Likewise, the T/C ratio, index of anabolic versus catabolic status, was also higher in PA (0.46 ± 0.11 vs. 0.32 ± 0.07), which further supports the possibility of an improved hormonal environment. The present study shows that there are differences in semen and hormone values of physically active subjects and sedentary subjects. Physically active subjects seem to have a more anabolic hormonal environment and a healthier semen production.


Male fertility Seminological profile Hormonal profile Exercise Sedentary Physical activity 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Jose R Gomez-Puerto, Dr. Bernardo H Viana-Montaner and BS Gianni Curti for their help and suggestions in the manuscript preparation.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Vaamonde
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto
    • 2
  • Juan Manuel García-Manso
    • 3
  • Natalibeth Barrera
    • 4
  • Ricardo Vaamonde-Lemos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Morphological Sciences, School of MedicineUniversity of CórdobaCórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Andalusian Center of Sports Medicine and Scientific Sport AssociationCórdobaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Activity and Sport SciencesUniversity of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  4. 4.Center for Reproductive MedicineCleveland ClinicCleveland USA

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