Influence of physical activity on male fertility

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Minas, Aram [UNIFESP]
Fernandes, Ana Carolina Cardillo [UNIFESP]
Maciel Junior, Valter Luiz [UNIFESP]
Adami, Luana [UNIFESP]
Intasqui, Paula [UNIFESP]
Bertolla, Ricardo Pimenta [UNIFESP]
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Infertility is a worldwide issue impacting 15% of couples' population. Male-related infertility results in almost 50% of these cases. Considering lifestyle factors associated with infertility, here in this literature review article, we aimed to discuss training/sport effects on male-related infertility. Regarding this issue, human and animal model studies related to the subject were gathered and analysed. Exercise is well known as a general improving factor, however, excessive exercise can result in male infertility due to reduced hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPT) function, increased oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Consequently, these underlying impacts result in a low testosterone production, and reduced semen quality, and can lead to infertility. In contrast, it has been revealed that exercise can improve male fertility status in lifestyle-induced infertility condition such as obesity and diabetes. Indeed, exercise, by increasing testicular antioxidant defence, reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines level and enhancing the steroidogenesis process, leads to improved spermatogenesis and semen quality in lifestyle-induced infertility. In fact, it seems that individual health status as well as exercise volume, intensity and duration are effective-involved co-factors that influence the impact that exercise will promote on male fertility. Regarding these findings, it is important to study exercise different impacts in further clinical trials in order to generate preservative guidelines for exercise and also considering exercise as a treatment option in lifestyle-induced disease management.