Human oviductal fluid prolongs sperm survival

Jianjun Zhu, Christopher L. R. Barratt, Jack Lippes, Allan A. Pacey, Elizabeth A. Lenton, Ian D. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the effect of human oviductal fluid on sperm motility and hyperactivation during 9 hours' incubation in vitro with follicular fluid (FF) and medium controls.

Design: Fertile donor spermatozoa were allowed to penetrate human cervical mucus in vitro and then recovered and incubated in either 30% human oviductal fluid, 20% FF, or medium for up to 9 hours. Sperm motion characteristics were measured using a sperm motility analyzer.

Setting: The donor insemination program at the University Clinic within the Jessop Hospital for Women, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Patients: All donors used in this study were involved in the donor insemination program.

Main outcome measures: Sperm motility, hyperactivation, curvilinear velocity, progressive, lateral head displacement, and linearity were measured using a sperm motility analyzer.

Results: After 9 hours' incubation, spermatozoa in human oviductal fluid had a significantly higher percentage motility than sperm incubated in FF or the control medium. A more linear sperm motion was consistently observed in the spermatozoa incubated in human oviductal fluid: significantly different from FF and media at 3 hours and 6 hours. The effect of human oviductal fluid on maintaining sperm motility was not affected by the addition of P.

Conclusion: Human oviductal fluid can maintain sperm motility in a mechanism that is not mediated by the low concentration of P. We suggest that human oviductal fluid is a favorable environment for sperm survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1994


  • Body Fluids/physiology
  • Cell Survival
  • Fallopian Tubes/physiology
  • Female
  • Follicular Fluid/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Progesterone/pharmacology
  • Sperm Motility/drug effects
  • Spermatozoa/physiology


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