To investigate the relationship between di-(2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and male infertility by detecting the concentration of DEHP in the seminal plasma of the patient with idiopathic asthenozoospermia (IAS).
This study included 45 infertile males with diagnosed IAS in the observation group and another 45 men with normal sperm parameters as controls. We obtained the general baseline data on the subjects, determined the concentration of DEHP in the seminal plasma, the ROS level and the sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI), and compared them between the two groups of males.
There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups of subjects in age, living habits and other general in baseline data (P > 0.05). The IAS patients, in comparison with the normal controls, showed significantly increased DEHP concentration in the seminal plasma (［0.45 ± 0.09］ vs ［0.23 ± 0.05］ μg/ml, P < 0.05), ROS level (［569.4 ± 45.3］ vs ［317.6 ± 27.8］ pmol/106 sperm, P < 0.05) and sperm DFI (［22.1 ± 8.3］% vs ［10.5 ± 6.7］%, P < 0.05). The concentration of DEHP in the seminal plasma was correlated positively with the ROS level (r = 0.77, P < 0.05) and sperm DFI (r = 0.75, P < 0.05) but negatively with the percentage of progressively motile sperm (r = －0.81, P < 0.05).
The DEHP level is escalated in the seminal plasma of the IAS patient, which may be responsible for the reduced sperm motility and increased DFI of the patient.