Effects of Lead and Cadmium Concentration on Blood and Semen of Male Patients Consulting Fertility Clinic, Abakiliki, South-East Nigeria

Nnadi ., Naomi Ngozi


The present study aimed to determine the Effects of Lead and Cadmium Concentration on Blood and Semen of Male Patients Consulting Fertility Clinic, Abakiliki, South-East Nigeria. 73 consecutively consenting male partners of women attending fertility clinic (age range, 20-45 years) whose wives were seen by gynecologists at the hospital between July and November 2014 were involved in the study. These men were referred for semen analysis with diagnosis of primary and secondary infertility (13 and 60 respectively). Semen analysis was done in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guideline. The semen samples were classified into 3 groups: Azospermia (n = 15), oligospermia (n = 22) and normospermia (n = 36). Atomic absorption spectrophotometer was used to determine the concentrations of lead and cadmium in seminal and blood plasma, respectively. The result obtained showed that the three groups have comparable (p > 0.05) age, Body Mass Index (BMI) and sperm volume.  The sperm count in the normospaemic patients were significant (p < 0.05) than the azoospaemic patients. The same pattern was observed for sperm motility and morphology. Plasma cadmium was higher in azoospermic patient in comparison with oligospermic and normospermic patient. However, the plasma cadmium in oligospaemic patient was significant than the ones in normospermic patient. It was also observed that the seminal cadmium in oligospermic patients was higher than azoospermic patient while the normospermic patients had significant seminal cadmium in comparison with both azoospermic and oligospermic patients. For plasma lead, the oligospermic patients had significant (p < 0.05) value than the normospermic or the azoospermic patients. Furthermore, the normospermic patients were observed to have significant plasma lead in comparison with azoospermic patients. The seminal lead was observed to be significant in normospermic patients in comparison with the oligospermic or azoospermic patients. The oligospermic and the normospermic patient had comparable values for seminal lead. Plasma cadmium concentration shows a significantly negative correlation with sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology. The same pattern was observed with seminal cadmium. Meanwhile, plasma lead was observed to have a significantly negative correlation with sperm count while that of sperm motility and sperm morphology was not significant. In seminal lead, all of the seminal parameters were not significantly related.The result of the present study suggests that Lead and Cadmium have negative effect on sperm parameters. Hence, in avoidance of exposure to these metals, occupational health surveillance should include the assessment of adverse effects on the reproductive system of workers exposed to Lead and Cadmium.


Blood and Semen; Lead and Cadmium Concentration; Infertility; Semen quality; Sperm count; Reproductive toxicity.

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