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Background: After life itself, fertility is probably the most highly prized human possession. Yet, while medical treatment of the individual naturally demands priority, relatively little attention is paid to the effects of treatment on reproductive function. Objective: To investigate the effect of the calcium channel blocker, nifedipine, on sperm functions and identify the possible mechanism of action. Methods: Twenty four (24) male rats weighing 150 - 170 g were divided into three groups of eight rats each. Group 1 (control) received distilled water; Group 2, received nifedipine 0.57mg/kg; and Group 3, received 0.57mg/kg and serve as a recovery group. Treatment was done orally and it lasted for 30 days. Animals in Group 3 were allowed another 30 days after drug withdrawal for recovery. Sperm count, motility, morphology and serum testosterone level were evaluated. The testes were removed, weighed and prepared for histological studies. Results: The weight of the testis and epididymis were significantly reduced (P<0.05) with administration of nifedipine. There were significant decreases (P<0.05) in epididymal sperm count and motility. Serum testosterone levels remained unchanged in treated rats. The histological section of the testis showed no biologically meaningful change compared with control tissue. Conclusion: Nifedipine appears to have a reversible deleterious effect on sperm functions in rats which is not mediated by ta change in testosterone secretion.
Keywords: Nifedipine, Sperm, Fertility