Could my Peritoneal Fluid Have a Negative Effect on my Partner’s Sperm?


Could my Peritoneal Fluid Have a Negative Effect on my Partner’s Sperm?

The answer seems to be yes!

Key Points

Highlights:

  • The peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis could have a negative effect on sperm quality contributing to infertility linked to the male partner.

Importance:

  • Based on the knowledge provided by this study, infertility in a couple where the woman has endometriosis should be evaluated by culturing the male partner’s sperm in the presence of peritoneal fluid obtain from a woman without endometriosis, to assess the functionality of the sperm.

What’s done here:

  • Researchers analyzed biomarkers of sperm quality and function when in contact with the peritoneal fluid of women with and without endometriosis.

Key results:

  • The peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis has a significant adverse effect on the quality and functionality of sperm. 
  • Culturing sperm cells in the presence of peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis caused significant changes in the motility, tyrosine protein phosphorylation, and the relocation of surface sugars of sperm cells, all biological events associated with sperm functionality.

Limitations:

  • The experiments described in this study were conducted in the laboratory; there may be other factors affecting the functionality of the sperm inside a woman's body. 

Lay Summary

The peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis could negatively affect the quality and functionality of sperm, according to a study by Spanish researchers.

This could explain infertility linked to the male partners of women with endometriosis. The knowledge could also be used to diagnose infertility linked to the male partner.

The peritoneal fluid is the liquid made in the abdominal cavity to lubricate the tissues that line the abdominal wall and pelvic cavity. It is known that endometriosis can change the peritoneal fluid causing endometrial implants to grow more easily in areas outside of the uterus. The changes in the endometrial fluid are also associated with endometriosis-associated infertility. The potential effect of these changes on the sperm of the male partner is poorly understood.

In the present study, researchers led by Dr. María José Gómez-Torres from the University of Alicante analyzed the effect of the peritoneal fluid on the quality and functionality of sperm. To do so, they collected peritoneal fluid from 25 women with and 20 women without endometriosis. They also collected sperm samples from 15 healthy male donors. They then cultured the sperm samples together with peritoneal fluid obtained from women with endometriosis, the one obtained from women without endometriosis, and in growth medium as a control, for two days. 

The researchers looked at the viability, motility, tyrosine phosphorylation, and spontaneous acrosomal reaction of the sperm immediately and after 24 and 48 hours of culture. Tyrosine phosphorylation of the proteins found in the tail of the sperm is a biological event that allows the sperm to become overactive, an event necessary for it to penetrate the egg cell. Acrosomal reaction is another biological event that is important for the sperm to be able to penetrate the egg cell. The researchers also looked at the redistribution of sugars on the surface of sperm cells, which is essential for sperm development and function.

They found that the motility of the sperm that were cultured in the presence of the peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis decreased significantly after one day, compared to the control. There were also differences in the relocation of surface sugars as identified by two proteins that bind to these sugars. Sperm that was in contact with the peritoneal fluid of women without endometriosis showed a lower level of spontaneous acrosomal reaction.

After two days of culture, the researchers saw no difference between sperm cultured in the presence of peritoneal fluid obtained from women without endometriosis and sperm cultured in growth medium. However, sperm cultured in the presence of the peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis had significantly lower motility, lower tyrosine phosphorylation, and differences in the relocation of surface sugars after two days.

The viability of the sperm was not affected in any culture condition. 

The researchers concluded that the peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis could negatively affect the quality and functionality of sperm contributing to infertility associated to the male partner.


Research Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31864823


infertility sperm quality sperm functionality male infertility peritoneal fluid

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