Skip to main content
  • Fertilite Contraception
  • Published:

Temperature scrotale et fertilite chez le belier

Scrotal temperature and fertility in rams


Numerous animal studies have shown that elevated testicular, scrotal or ambient temperature induces alterations in spermatogenesis that reduce fertility. In this study, fertilization rate and embryonic mortality were assessed in 636 ewes inseminated in each uterine horn with 50 × 106 cryopreserved spermatozoa from one of either four control rams or four rams submitted to a moderate (2°C), but repeated intermittent (16 hours/day for 21 consecutive days), elevation in their subcutaneous scrotal temperature by means of scrotal insulation. Pregnancy was assessed twice in each ewe at 17 days (blood plasma progesterone) and 65 days (ultrasound) after insemination. No differences were observed in the 17-day pregnancy rate between ewes inseminated with semen from control or experimental rams at up to 21 days of scrotal heating. In contrast, the rate of embryonic mortality between 17 and 65 days post-insemination was significantly higher after 4, 15 and 21 days of treatment in the experimental rams (78.7, 78.6 and 92.7 % respectively) compared to the control rams (55.0, 59.1 and 69.4 % respectively). These results indicate that ani intermittent slight increase in scrotal temperature induces a significant increase in embryonic mortality rate. As these changes were already apparent after only 4 days of scrotal heating, the effect must have ocurred either on the epididymis or on the spermatozoa stored in the epididymis


Une élévation de 2°C de la température scrotale, induite chez le bélier par isolation du scrotum pendant 16h/j sur 21 jours, n’entraine aucune modification du taux de fécondation chez les femelles inséminées avec du sperme congelé recueilli à J4, J15 ou J21. Par contre, 65 jours aprés insémination, le taux de mortalité embryonnaire est augmenté, que le sperme ait été recueilli à J4, J15 ou J21. Outre un effet d’une faible élévation de la température scrotale sur l’épididyme et/ou son contenu, ces résultats montrent qu’il existe une relation entre la qualité des spermatozoïdes et la survie de l’embryon


  1. -Bedford JM.: Effects of elevated temperature on he epididymis and the testis: experimental studies. In: Zorgniotti AW eds. Temperature and environmental effects on the testis. New York, Plenum Press, 1991: 19–32.

    Google Scholar 

  2. -Bellvé AR.: Viability and survival of mouse embryos following parental exposure to high temperature. J. Reprod. Fert., 1972, 30: 71–81.

    Google Scholar 

  3. -Braden AWH, Mattner PE.: The effects of scrotal heating in the ram on semen characteristics, fecundity and embryonic mortality. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 1970, 12:509–518.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. -Djackiew D, Cardullo R.: Lower temperature of the cauda epididymidis facilitates the storage of sperm by enhancing oxygen availability. Gam. Res., 1986, 15:237–245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. -Mieusset R, Bujan L, Mondinat C, Mansat A, Pontonnier F, Grandjean H: Association of scrotal hyperthermia with impaired spermatogenesis in infertile men. Fertil. Steril., 1987, 48: 1006–1011.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. -Setchell BP, D’Occhio M, Hall MJ, Laurie MS, Tucker MJ, Zupp JL: Is embryonic mortality increased in normal females mated to subfertile males? J. Repord. Fert., 1988, 82:567–574.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. -Waites GMH. Temperature and fertility in mam mals. In: Proc. 6th Int. Congr. Reprod. Artificial Insemination, vol. I, 1968, 235–252.

  8. -Wettemann RP, Bazer FW: Influence of enviromental temperature on profilacy of pigs. J. Reprod. Fert. Suppl. 33, 1985:199–208.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mieusset, R., Casares, P.L.Q., Partida, L.G.S. et al. Temperature scrotale et fertilite chez le belier. Androl. 2, 56–57 (1992).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words