Adverse Effects of Circadian Desynchrony on the Male Reproductive System: An Epidemiological and Experimental Study

Liu K, Hou G, Wang X, et al. Adverse effects of circadian desynchrony on the male reproductive system: an epidemiological and experimental study [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 3]. Hum Reprod. 2020;deaa101. doi:10.1093/humrep/deaa101


Study question: Is circadian desynchrony a risk factor of male reproductive damage in semen parameters and/or reproductive hormones?

Summary answer: Circadian desynchrony correlates with decrease of sperm count, which was improved when circadian desynchrony was attenuated.

What is known already: Circadian desynchrony caused by work (shift work) and non-work-related reasons is prevalent worldwide and has been found to be associated with decreased female fertility, but whether it harms male reproductive health is unclear.


Limitations, reasons for caution: The study of human beings was observational while the animal study has potential difference in circadian desynchrony exposure and species susceptibility. Further researches are needed to clarify the causal relationship in men.

Wider implications of the findings: These findings provide novel insight to the effect of circadian desynchrony on male reproductive health and a potential strategy for prevention of reproductive damage.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

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