INTRODUCTION: Emotional stress connected with work or, for example, depressive reaction to infertility, is one of frequent causes of decreased quality of semen. An objective examination of this factor is difficult because stress depends also on patient's emotionality. One of the ways to study this problem is evaluating the relation between ACTH level and selected semen parameters.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was based on results of the examination of 83 men from couples treated for infertility in the Gynecology and Infertility Clinic of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Determination of ACTH, FSH, LH, cortisol, testosterone and androstendion was performed using ELISA.
RESULTS: Lower average values of semen volume, sperm cells concentration and A sperm cell mobility and higher value of D sperm cells mobility were identified in the group of men from couples treated for infertility with ACTH level >30 pg/ml in comparison to the WHO standards and the control group with ACTH <30 pg/ml. Higher ACTH and cortisol levels were detected in the group of men with the sperm count <10 mln/mL in comparison to the control group with the sperm count >20 mln/mL. Low and statistically insignificant correlation was observed between androstendion and testosterone levels, what might suggest the reduction of testosterone synthesis in this group.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results might indicate that the rise of ACTH and cortisol inhibit the conversion of adrostendion into testosterone in Leydig-cells resulting in the rise of androstendion, drop of testosterone production and lower average values of semen volume, sperm cells concentration and A sperm cell mobility and higher value of D sperm cells mobility.