Influence of Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise on the Reproductive Hormones, Cortisol and Prolactin in Male

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine & Physiology Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences

2 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine & Physiology Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences.


Background and Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of aerobic and anaerobicexercise on reproductive hormones in male.
Subjects and Methods: 45 subjects performed three randomized trials on separate groups, (1) aerobic group, (2) anaerobic group, (3) control group. Aerobic group performed continuous exercise with 65% (VO2max) and anaerobic group performed interval exercise with 100% (VO2max). Pre and post of the exercise blood samples were collected and analyzed for testosterone, luteinizing (LH), follicle-stimulating (FSH), prolactin and cortisol hormones. Diet, physical activity and circadian influences were all controlled.
Results: Compared with the control, the aerobic and anaerobic groups significantly (P< 0/05) elevated testosterone, prolactin and cortisol. Neither exercise produced significant (P < 0/05) changes of FSH. LH in the aerobic group did not change but in anaerobic group was significantly elevated in comparison with the control group.
Conclusion: This study has shown that there are not any correlations between testosterone and LH in the aerobic group which is a normal function of hypothalamus-hypophysis- axis and this is due to the low level of testosterone endurance  athletes doing stamina sports. Also significant increase was found between testosterone and prolactin of both experimental groups which is similar to other reports and aims of present study as well.
Sci Med J 2011;10(5):545-53


1-William DM, Frank IK, Victor LK. Essential of exercise  physiology. 2nd ed. 1999: P. 328- 51 & 484 - 89 & 369.

2-Alma JS, William RP, Andrea YA.  Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Premenopausal Sex HormoneLevels: Results of the WISER Study, a Randomized Clinical Trial in Healthy, Sedentary, Eumenorrheic Women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011; 20: 1098-1106. Available from: http: //cebp. aacrjournals. org/

3-Arce JC, De Souza MJ, Pescatello LS, Luciano AA. Subclinical alterations in hormone and semen profile in athletes. Fertil Steril. 1993; 59(2): 398-404.[PMID: 8425638]

4- Hackney AC, Fahrner CL, Gulledge TP. Basal reproductive hormonal profiles are altered in endurance trained men. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1998; 38(2): 138-41. [PMID: 9763799]

5-Hawkins VN, Foster-Schubert K, Chubak J, Sorensen B, Ulrich C, Stancyzk F, et al. Effect of Exercise on Serum Sex Hormones in Men: A 12-Month Randomized Clinical Trial. American College of Sports Medicine. 2008; 40(2): 223-33. [PMID: 18202581]

6- Lucia A, Chicharro JL, Perez M, Serratosa L, Bandres F, Legido JC. Reproductive function in male endurance athletes: sperm analysis and hormonal profile. J Appl Physiol. 1996; 81(6): 2627-36. [PMID: 9018515]

7-De Souza MJ, Arce JC, Pescatello LS, Scherzer HS, Luciano AA. Gonadal hormones and semen quality in male runners. A volume threshold effect of endurance training. Int J Sports Med. 1994; 15(7): 383-91. [PMID: 8002116]

8-Wheeler DG, Wall SR, Belcastro AN, Cummiing DC. Reduce serum testosterone and prolactin levels in male distance runners. JAMA. 1984; 252: 514-16.

9-Tremblay MS, Copeland JL, Van Helder W. Effect of training status and exercise mode on endogenous steroid hormones in men. J Appl Physiol. 2004; 96(2): 531-9. [PMID: 14514704]

10-Hackney AC, Premo MC, McMurray RG. Influence of aerobic versus anaerobic exercise on the relationship between reproductive hormones in men. J Sports Sci. 1995; 13(4): 305-11. [PMID:7474044]

11-Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA. Hormonal responses and adapta- tions to resistance exercise and training. Sports Med. 2005; 35(4): 339-61.[PMID:15831061]

12-Di Luigi L, Guidetti L, Baldari C, Romanelli F. Heredity and pituitary response to exercise-related stress in trained men. Int J Sports Med. 2003; 24 (8): 551-8. [PMID: 14598189]

13-Pullinen T, Mero  A, Huttunen P, Pakakinen A, Komi PV. Resistance  exercise- induced hormonal response in men, women and pubescent boys. Med Sci sports exerc. 2002; 34(5): 806- 13. [PMID: 11984299]

14-Fry AC, Kraemer WJ, Ramsey LT. Pituitary-adrenal-gonadal responses to high-intensity resistance exercise overtraining. J Appl Physiol. 1998; 85(6): 2352-59. [PMID: 9843563]

15-Baker JR, Bemben MG, Anderson MA, Bemben DA.  Effects of age on testosterone responses to resistance exercise and musculoskeletal variables in men. J Strength Cond Res. 2006; 20 (4): 874-81.[PMID: 17194250]

16-Cumming DC, Wheeler GD, Mc Coll EM. The effects of exercise on reproductive  function in men. Sports Med. 1989; 7(1): 1-17. [PMID: 2652242]

17-Vries WR, Bernards NT, Rooij MH, Koppeschaar HP. Dynamic Exercise Discloses Different Time-Related Responses in Stress Hormones. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2000; 62: 866-72. [PMID: 11139007]

18-Izquierdo M, Hakkinen K, Ibanez J, Garrues M, Antón A, Zúñiga A, et al. Effects of strength training on muscle power and serum hormones in middle-aged and older men. J Appl Physiol. 2001; 90(4): 1497-507.[PMID: 10519978]