Effect of L-carnitine on the sperm motility in ejaculated semen and cervical mucus

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Abstract

Purpose

This work aimed at studying the effect of L-carnitine on sperm parameters in the ejaculated semen and the cervical mucus, through a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, addressing idiopathic and varicocele cases.

Methods

Patients were randomized into two groups, one receiving L-carnitine and the other receiving placebo. Pretreatment and posttreatment semen and postcoital cervical mucus samples were evaluated and compared.

Results

Posttreatment semen samples showed that L-carnitine resulted in a statistically significant increase in sperm concentration in the cervical mucus in the study group compared with the placebo, although not in terms of motility or morphology, whether in the semen or in the cervical mucus. This effect was restricted to cases of idiopathic infertility and not in cases with varicocele, and to cases of oligoasthenozoospermia rather than cases with isolated asthenozoospermia.

Conclusion

L-Carnitine can have a positive effect on sperm concentration within the cervical mucus in cases of idiopathic oligoasthenozoospermia, possibly because of an enhanced cervical mucus penetration capability.

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