The research institutes will study 6000 men attending any of the 10 fertility clinics in the UK over a period of 2 years. They will be classified as either fertile or infertile on the basis of sperm parameters. Standardised methods will be used to analyse sperm. Information on possible exposures to suspected endocrine disrupters in utero through maternal employment or diet and currently to phytoestrogens will be assessed by questionnaire. Biological samples will be stored to permit later assessment of specified chemical substances should this appear to be justified. Using the subset of men whose partners are diagnosed as having tubular occlusion, unbiased estimates will be made of sperm counts in the catchment area of the fertility clinic. Geographical differences in sperm count will be examined and baselines for future studies established.
N Cherry, H Moore, R McNamee, A Pacey, G Burgess, JA Clyma, M Dippnall, H Baillie, A Povey, Occupation and male infertility: glycol ethers and other exposures, Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2008.