Objective: To study associations between periconceptional dietary patterns and semen quality parameters. Design: Prospective periconception cohort study. Setting: Tertiary hospital. Patient(s): One hundred and twenty-nine male partners of pregnant women who participated in the Rotterdam Periconception Cohort (Predict study). Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Semen quality parameters-ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, progressive motility, immotile sperm, and total motile sperm count (TMSC). Result(s): Men included in our study were on average 35 (±6 standard deviation) years old and had a body mass index of 26.4 ± 4 kg/m2. Two dietary patterns were identified using principle component analysis, which were labeled as "healthy" and "unhealthy." An increase of one factor score (stated as β) represented an increase of 1 standard deviation. Sperm concentration (β = 0.278; 95% CI, 0.112-0.444), total sperm count (β = 1.369; 95% CI, 0.244-2.495), progressive motility (β = 4.305; 95% CI, 0.675-7.936), and TMSC (β = 0.319; 95% CI, 0.113-0.526) were all positively associated with a strong adherence to the healthy dietary pattern. Subgroup analysis showed that these associations were mainly present in men with a TMSC <10 million spermatozoa. Although there was a trend toward a diminution in semen quality, we found no statistically significant associations with strong adherence to the unhealthy dietary pattern. Conclusion(s): The positive associations between strong adherence to a healthy dietary pattern and semen parameters in men with poor semen quality support the importance of preconceptional tailored nutritional counseling and coaching of couples who are trying to conceive.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Dietary pattern, Male subfertility, Semen analysis
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2017.02.103, hdl.handle.net/1765/98586
Journal Fertility and Sterility
Citation
Oostingh, E.C. (Elsje C.), Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M, de Vries, J.H, Laven, J.S.E, & Koster, M.P.H. (2016). Strong adherence to a healthy dietary pattern is associated with better semen quality, especially in men with poor semen quality. Fertility and Sterility. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2017.02.103