Out of this world: fertility investigations and the space program

50 Years Ago Today

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Volume 114, Issue 1, Page 82


Martin Kathrins, M.D.


Reports from the manned space flights to date have not clarified or mentioned changes in number of type of spermatozoa. Testicular tissue has not been biopsied in the astronauts.

—Cockett et al. 

Those of us who practice male reproductive medicine are acutely aware that our patients’ thinking tends to diverge from our own. Patients inquire about lifestyle, diet, and environmental exposures. Our clinical prejudice against entertaining such “soft” factors may be due to the lack of well validated advice that can be used to address their concerns. To be sure, there are increasing data correlating overall health with fertility status, but true lifestyle interventional data can seem few and far between. We might, then, recall this thought-provoking manuscript from August 1970. It reflects a multi-institutional effort examining one extreme variable—complete physical immobilization—and its effects on testicular histopathology.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.