Introduction: Reproductive function in male is suppressed by psychogenic or somatic stress. Epidemiological evidences emphasize that oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiology of male infertility. Antioxidant enzyme activity has been shown to decrease in stress conditions, resulting in increased lipid peroxidation (LPO), which results from changes in various response pathways leads to tissue damage or decrease tissue activity. Materials & Methods: The albino rats were exposed to swimming stress daily at 9.00am for 51 days. Group1: Received D/W, Group 2: Stress, Group 3: Stress + Vitamin C (10mg/kg/day), Group 4: stress + Vitamin C (30mg/kg/day). Effects of Swimming stress and any modification by Vitamin C treatment were studied on sperm quality, testicular antioxidant enzymes,testosterone level, fertility index, copulatory index were studied. Results: Compared with controls, exposure to chronic swimming stress, significantly reduced bodyweight (-13.5±0.76), testis weight (0.854±0.016), sperm Count (614±5.39) antioxidant enzyme levels (MDA: 17.8±0.11, CAT: 4.4±0.13, GSH: 2.0±0.05). Vitamin C at both doses significantly improved the bodyweight, sperm count and antioxidant enzyme levels. Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed chronic swimming stress significantly altered the fertility potential of male rats, and supplementation of vitamin C significantly prevented the physiological and biochemical changes of chronic swimming stress.
Key word: Oxidative stress, Male fertility, Vitamin C, Swimming stress.