Semen parameters and the incidence and effects of bacteriospermia in male partners of infertile couples attending a fertility clinic in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana

Edward Agyepong, Kweku Bedu-Addo


Background: Inability to conceive after at least 12 months of unprotected regular intercourse has been recognized as a very serious problem for couples especially those who are at the reproductive age and legally married. Bacterial infection of male genitourinary tract is considered as one of the promoting factors for male infertility. These pathogenic bacteria in the ejaculates can induce a defect in semen parameters, such as sperm count, morphology and motility which are predictors of male fertility potential. The study was conducted to assess the semen quality and the incidence of bacteriospermia in male partners of infertile couples attending fertility clinic at Trust Care Specialist Hospital, Kumasi.

Methods: Semen samples of 300 male partners of infertile couples were collected and evaluated by WHO guidelines. The samples were also cultured using standard bacterial culture techniques.

Results: Oligozoospermia was the highest semen abnormality identified. This was followed by Teratozoospermia. Other semen abnormalities identified were azoospermia, asthenozoospermia, oligoteratozoospermia, asthenoteratozoospermia, oligoasthenozoospermia, and oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. 67 (22.3%) out of the 300 samples showed significant bacterial growth. Eight different bacteria species were isolated. E. coli, was isolated from 27 of the samples, S. aureus from 13 of the samples, U. urealyticum from 10 of the samples, Chlamydia trachomatis from 9 of the samples, Pseudomonas spp from 5 of the samples Proteus spp, Klesbsiella spp and M. morganii were each isolated from one sample.

Conclusions: Although bacteria were isolated in 22.3% of the semen samples, their presence imparted negatively on the semen quality. This suggests that bacterial infection should be one of the investigations to be carried out in the treatment of infertility. Even when count, motility, and morphology look normal other parameters such as infection and sperm DNA should be investigated during the treatment of infertility.


Bacteriospermia, Infertility, Semen, Spermatozoa, Normospermia

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