Sexual Health news - Men’s Sexual Health

Common antibiotic may affect sperm quality for patient and offspring


Public health issues relating to the overuse of antibiotics to cure relatively simple infections have mainly revolved around the medication's ability to cause drug resistance. However, unnecessary use of these pathogen-killing agents may also have implications for human sexual health.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Nevada revealed that tetracycline – an antibiotic used to treat infections like pneumonia and urinary tract infections, among a number of other conditions – may have an effect not just on a male's sperm viability, but his offspring's as well.

Authors of the study administered the antibiotic to pseudoscorpions, also known as book scorpions, and compared their reproductive function, sperm viability, sperm count and body size to control arachnids. Next, the scientists observed these factors in the small scorpions' offspring.

They discovered that reproductive function and sperm viability were significantly and detrimentally affected by tetracycline for both father and son.

"Tetracycline has a significant detrimental effect on male reproductive function and sperm viability of pseudoscorpions - reducing viability by up to 25 percent - and now we know that effect is passed on to the next generation. We didn't see the effect in subsequent generations," said researcher David Zeh.

The findings' implications may be more complex than they appear at first glance, because tetracycline is widely used in agriculture as an additive in animal feed. This suggests that more men may be affected by this than those prescribed the medication to fight infection.

Individuals concerned about sperm quality and sexual health may want to consider choosing organic food products and talking to their doctor about appropriate antibiotic use, as cutting back on tetracycline intake may prevent reproductive dysfunction.