Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Sperm: heat stress

Synonym(s): Hyperthermia, testicular degeneration, thermal stress, semen quality

Contributor(s): Lisa Whitfield , Stuart Revell

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Introduction

  • Heat stress occurs when the internal body temperature is elevated above normal physiological limits.
  • Detrimental effects on reproduction can occur in both males and females who experience heat stress.
  • In males, the primary effect of heat stress is on sperm morphology, density and motility.
  • Periods of heat stress of as little as 12 hours duration may affect male fertility.
  • The effects of heat stress typically are not seen immediately after a heat stress event, but are seen progressively over the following 8 weeks, as affected stages of developing spermatozoa reach maturity and are released from the epididymis.
  • Infertility due to heat stress may be temporary or permanent.

Heat stress

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Pathophysiology

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Predisposing factors

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcome

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Barth A D & Bowman P A (1994) The sequential appearance of sperm abnormalities after scrotal insulation or dexamethasone treatment in bulls. The Canadian Veterinary Journal 35 (2), 93-102 VetMedResource.
  • Volger C J, Bame J H, DeJarnette D M, McGilliard M L & Saacke R G (1993) Effects of elevated testicular temperature on morphology characteristics of ejaculated spermatozoa in the bovine. Theriogenology 40, 1207-1219 VetMedResource.
  • de Alba J & Riera S (1966) Sexual maturity and spermatogenesis under heat stress in the bovine. Animal Science 8 (1), 137-144.
  • Skinner J D & Louw G N (1966) Heat stress and spermatogenesis in Bos indicus and Bos taurus cattle. Journal of Applied Physiology 21 (6), 1784-1790 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  •  Parkinson T (2009) Fertility, subfertility and infertility in male animals. In: Arthur's Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics. 9th Edition. Eds: Noakes D E, Parkinson T J, England G C W. Saunders Elsevier. Edinburgh. New York. 705-764.

Organisation(s)

  • Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS), Massey University, New Zealand.


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