Effect of Humidity and Temperature on Human Sperm.

The aim of writing this article is to perform an analysis  of human sperm production  and  variation  in its quality and quantity with the change in temperature & humidity.  The result is being evaluated in term of cryopreservation and post thaw recovery.
This  study is an abstract of study of consecutive 4 years of sperm cryopreservation  at different months  of year (from  2011 to 2014) in Delhi , capital of India.
Capital of India, Delhi  has  a wide variation in  weather in the term of temperature (from 20 C  in winter to 45C in summer). In the same way  humidity  also varies  from   2 to  80%  without rain.  In Delhi, heavy  rain is  relatively rare and humidity touches 100 percent sometime only.
For the  purpose of study we have divided the year in three parts  —-

  1. November , December , January  &  February –  winter
  2. March, April , May , June  – summer
  3. July , August, September & half of October  –  Autumn / Spring

Also cryopreservation was performed  near a  desert for a complete year.   It’s result has been taken into consideration for conclusion.
Different types of studies have been done on animals  and aquatic  life  by different authors, which has been  considered as well.
For every year six to eight donors were selected for study.   Each year a different group of donor was selected for study. Semen was collected  by masturbation  and collection was taken  in morning  only (From 7 AM  to 10 AM). Also we ask  the donors  to not come empty stomach.  Temperature of the waiting hall and collection room was  kept  in comfortable zone.                                                                                                                                                                            All the processing of semen was performed at temperature 320 C  to 340 C

Research  and  findings

 A/  November , December, January and  February (Winter – Low in temperature  and low humidity)
In these months temperature varies from 20 C  to 250 C,  Humidity  is relatively low – 5  to 60%,                                                                       (Humidity goes up  in case of fog  or  rain)

  • Semen Analysis  –  good  quality ,  morphological  abnormal sperms was average (30 – 50),  Total sperm count  – 1 million to 2.5 million, motility  – 50  to 70 %
  • Cryopreservation result  was good,  average number of cryo-preserved sperm prepared  — 1-3 samples  per collection.
  • Post thaw recovery good,  rejection on the basis of post thaw recovery   – 20 – 35 %
  • Post thaw recovery – 15 %   to 60 %
  • Post thaw motility % lies from – 40%  to 65 %

B/  March, April , May , June  ( summer)
In these months, temperature  varies from 300 C   to  450 C.  Most of the time humidity remains on lower side – – 2  to  50 %.

  • Semen Analysis –  very  good quality,  morphological  abnormal sperms was average (30 – 45%)  but less than winters, Total sperm count  – 1.25 million to 2.5 million,  Motility  – 50  to 80 + %
  • Cryopreservation result  was relatively good,  average number of cryo-preserved sperms were prepared  — 2 – 4 samples  per collection.
  • Post thaw recovery was good,   post thaw rejection was  somewhere   – 10 – 15 %
  • Post thaw recovery – 30  %   to 90 %
  • Post thaw motility % was noticed  between – 50%  to 70 %

 C/  July , August,  September & half of October   (hot & humid)
In these months usually temperature remain somewhere between 300 C  to 420 C. Most of  the time humidity remains on higher side from 60 %  to 100 %.

  • Semen Analysis –  Relatively  poor quality  of sperm by the same donors ,  morphological  abnormal sperms were  also on higher side (30  to 60%),      Total sperm count  -0.6 million to 1.5 million , motility  – 40  to 70%
  • Cryopreservation result  was poor,  average number of cryo-preserved sperm was prepared  —- 0 – 2 samples  per collection.
  • Post thaw recovery was poor, rejection on  post thaw recovery ground was somewhere between – 30 to 50%
  • Post thaw recovery – 15  to 50%
  • Post thaw motility – 20 to 60%


A cryopreservation center was started approximately 30 kilometer Arial distance desert, ( Jaisalmer). Where temperature remains on higher side during 9 months of the year (300 C +).   And  most importantly, humidity remains most of the time on lower side ( less than 40%) .  Only  December , and January  remain  relatively  cold (temp less than 200 C.)   But  humidity remains on lower side. Rain is scanty in this region.
In  this area, the cryopreservation was done from March 2015 to May 2016. Total 26 donors  approached to join, out of 26,   21  were selected.  Out of 21 only 9 continued for whole course of study.
Quality of the sperm , even the result of cryo-preservation remained good enough and was almost consistent.

  • Semen Analysis –  very  good quality,  morphological  abnormal sperms were average (30 – 40%) Total sperm count  – 1.5 million to 3.5 million, Motility  – 50  to 80 %.
  • Cryopreservation result  was relatively very good,  average number of cryo-preserved sperms vials  prepared  — 3 – 4 samples  per collection.
  • Post thaw recovery was good,  post thaw rejection   – 10 – 15 %.
  • Post thaw recovery – 30  %   to 90 % 
  • Post thaw motility % – 50%  to 70 %.

Significantly  we noticed in this near desert zone  —- total sperm count was on higher side in all donors.  Out of 26 donors  only one donor was azoospermic  and  four  were oligospermic, Which ( according to the study conducted) was less in comparison to  the other part of the country.
After studying all the result we concludes

  1. Humidity and temperature ,when both the factors are present, it affect adversely for sperm production and sperm preservation.
  2. Low temperature and high humidity does not affect the sperm production  & preservation to that extant.
  3. We got the best result  with a temperature 300 C to 360 C( high temperature)  and  low humidity  5 %  to 35 %.  It indicate that only temperature is not adversely effecting the sperm production. Also only humidity is also not affecting the sperm production to that extant. We can conclude here, when temperature & humidity both are high  – than only it affect the sperm production & its quality. 
  4. In one of our study near desert we got the best result throughout the year, where humidity remains low through out the year.
  5. In nearby desert zone, it  seems that the rate of azoospermia  and   oligospermia  are relatively low.   Further study is required regarding  this observation.
  6. Extreme of temperature  ( less than 20 C or more than 440C  affects the sperm production adversely. This  impact was noted more intense when there was sudden change in the temperature. 
  7. In this study I didn’t get much impact of daylight length on sperm production.

Many authors has conducted this type of study on animals (cattle , boar, etc.). As it has been concluded by them also that the humidity and temperature both act together  and had negative effects on sperm morphology.
This study can be used as a tool for medical tourism enhancement for infertile couple. A couple with oligospermic  husband  can be advised to stay in such a zone where humidity is low and temperature is between 300 C to 360 C.
A further study is required on effect of temperature and humidity in female in the term of ova production and rate of conception.

  1. Effect of temperature and humidity on sperm morphology in boars under different housing systems in Thailand on boar semen   —  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16141664
  2. Effect of temperature and humidity on sperm production in Duroc boars under different housing systems in Thailand – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301622604000181
  3. Investigation of the Seasonal Variations of Temperature and Relative Humidity on Fertility  potential   —     http://www.cals.msstate.edu/students/research/darby_dillard_report.pdf

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1 thought on “Effect of Humidity and Temperature on Human Sperm

  1. Thanks, I have just been looking for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the supply?

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