DOI: 10.1111/andr.13563 ISSN: 2047-2919

Understanding seminal plasma in male infertility: emerging markers and their implications

Ashutosh Vashisht, Gagandeep Kaur Gahlay
  • Urology
  • Endocrinology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Infertility affects a significant proportion of the reproductive‐aged population, with male‐associated factors contributing to over half of the cases. However, current diagnostic tools have limitations, leading to an underestimation of the true prevalence of male infertility. While traditional semen parameters provide some insights, they fail to determine the true fertility potential in a substantial number of instances. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate additional molecular targets responsible for male infertility to improve understanding and identification of such cases. Seminal plasma, the main carrier of molecules derived from male reproductive glands, plays a crucial role in reproduction. Amongst its multifarious functions, it regulates processes such as sperm capacitation, sperm protection and maturation, and even interaction with the egg's zona pellucida. Seminal plasma offers a non‐invasive sample for urogenital diagnostics and has shown promise in identifying biomarkers associated with male reproductive disorders. This review aims to provide an updated and comprehensive overview of seminal plasma in the diagnosis of male infertility, exploring its composition, function, methods used for analysis, and the application of emerging markers. Apart from the application, the potential challenges of seminal plasma analysis such as standardisation, marker interpretation and confounding factors have also been addressed. Moreover, we have also explored future avenues for enhancing its utility and its role in improving diagnostic strategies. Through comprehensive exploration of seminal plasma's diagnostic potential, the present analysis seeks to advance the understanding of male infertility and its effective management.

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