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Athletic Athletic Boutique Balance Athletic New New Boutique Boutique Athletic Shorts Balance Balance Shorts Boutique New Balance New Shorts Objective: Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) is a nonionic surfactant used as the active ingredient in the majority of commercially available spermicides. The action of N-9 on spermatozoa has been evaluated. However, none of the previous studies showed the effects of N-9 on the sperm physiology and specifically how those effects impact on sperm motility, progressive motility and loss of membrane integrity.

Design: A prospective study to evaluate the effects of Nonoxynol-9 on sperm motion and membrane integrity at 2-minute intervals.

Materials/Methods: Semen samples from 36 normospermic males were used in this study. Semen was mixed with N-9 to give a final concentration of 1.25 mg. Sperm PrepTM media containing no spermicidal agent served as control. Both control and experimental specimens were incubated at 37°C for 0-10 minutes and at 2-minute intervals, aliquots of semen were removed and washed in control media and assessed for motility (%), grade of motility (0–4), and percent response to hypoosmotic swelling (HOS-test).

Results: The results obtained are shown in the table below.

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Time tested (min) Sperm parameters tested (n =36)
Motility (%) Grade (0–4) HOS (%)
Control Exp. Control Exp. Control Exp.
0 min 65.4 ± 5.7 66.1 ± 5.2 3.4 ± 0.3 3.4 ± 0.2 78.3 ± 8.1 77.1 ± 7.8
2 min 64.7 ± 6.1 40.1 ± 10.7 3.5 ± 0.4 Balance Athletic Shorts Athletic New Boutique New Boutique New Athletic Shorts Balance Boutique Shorts New Balance Athletic Balance Boutique 2.1 ± 0.1 75.4 ± 7.7 New Balance Balance Athletic New Shorts Athletic Boutique Athletic New Boutique Shorts New Athletic Balance Boutique Balance Shorts Boutique 49.2 ± 12.6
4 min 63.9 ± 6.3 21.3 ± 8.2 3.4 ± 0.4 0.2 ± 0.0 73.2 ± 7.8 30.3 ± 10.5
6 min 65.8 ± 5.8 0.0 3.4 ± 0.3 0.0 72.5 ± 9.1 Shorts Athletic Balance Boutique Balance Boutique Shorts Athletic Boutique New Athletic New Balance New Athletic Shorts Balance Boutique New 10.4 ± 3.6
8 min 66.1 ± 5.1 0.0 3.5 ± 0.4 0.0 70.6 ± 8.4 2.1 ± 0.1
New Athletic Athletic New Balance Boutique Boutique Balance Shorts Shorts Balance Shorts Athletic Boutique New Boutique New Balance Athletic 10 min 62.7 ± 6.5 0.0 3.4 ± 0.5 0.0 69.8 ± 8.6 0.0

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Conclusions: The results obtained in this study indicate very clearly that N-9 has an immediate effect on sperm motility characteristics causing complete immobilization within 4-6 minutes. Most importantly, the loss of sperm membrane characteristics as measured via the HOS test are somewhat delayed and are not completely established until the 8-10 minute incubation period. The results are of immense significance to those studying and applying N-9 as a spermicide, because they show for the first time, that N-9, in interacting with the sperm, first, causes immobilization and then brings about delayed membrane alterations and loss of its integrity as measured via the HOS test.

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