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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 129  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 357-367

Oxidative stress & male infertility


Center for Reproductive Medicine, Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute & Obsterics-Gynecology & Women's Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Correspondence Address:
A Agarwal
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute & Obsterics-Gynecology & Women's Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19535829

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The male factor is considered a major contributory factor to infertility. Apart from the conventional causes for male infertility such as varicocoele, cryptorchidism, infections, obstructive lesions, cystic fibrosis, trauma, and tumours, a new and important cause has been identified: oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a result of the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants in the body. It is a powerful mechanism that can lead to sperm damage, deformity and eventually, male infertility. This review discusses the physiological need for ROS and their role in normal sperm function. It also highlights the mechanism of production and the pathophysiology of ROS in relation to the male reproductive system and enumerate the benefits of incorporating antioxidants in clinical and experimental settings.


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