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General techniques for assessing male reproductive potential in human field studies.
Methods in Toxicology, Vol. 3, Part A, Male Reproductive Toxicology. Chapin RE, Heindel JJ, eds. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1993 Jul; 3:362-371
The general method for conducting field human studies to evaluate male fecundity was described. Before the field study, potential reproductive toxicants and potential populations to be studied must be identified. Once identified, potential populations should be evaluated for actual exposures, exposure histories, other potential toxicant exposures, and the climate of cooperation. A suitable comparison population must also be selected, taking into account factors such as temperature, geographic location, and socioeconomic status. The roles of the field study team (epidemiologist, physician, industrial hygienist, andrologist) during and after the field study were described. Semen analysis after the field trial should include morphological and morphometric analyses of sperm cell slides and assessment of motility from videotape. Blood serum should be analyzed for reproductive hormones, including luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and total and free testosterone. All data should be subjected to statistical analysis. Notifying participants of their results, without causing undue alarm, is a moral obligation of the researcher. The author concludes that human field studies are lengthy and complex undertakings that combine extensive planning, rigorous data collection and analysis, and concern and compassion for participants.
Humans; Spermatozoa; Spermatogenesis; Toxic-effects; Health-surveys; Toxic-materials; Epidemiology; Reproductive-system
Book or book chapter
Methods in Toxicology, Vol. 3, Part A, Male Reproductive Toxicology
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division