How to Correct Sperm Morphology

A sperm sample contains around 39 million sperm. Of these, only about 4% have the right shape to reach and fertilize an egg.

A sperm’s shape affects fertility because the sperm head needs to break through the egg’s outer layer for penetration and fertilization. A crooked head, a short tail or even multiple tails are considered abnormal.

Lifestyle Changes

The sperm production process is ongoing, so even small changes to diet and lifestyle can impact the quality of future sperm. This is why it’s so important for men to maintain a healthy weight, eat foods rich in Vitamin C and E, lycopene, folate and zinc, take antioxidant supplements such as CoQ10 and omega-3 fatty acids and avoid toxins like radiation, chemicals and smoking.

It’s also worth noting that while improving sperm morphology can help to improve fertility, genetics plays a significant role in sperm health as well, so any changes should be considered only after consulting with a healthcare professional. Moreover, sperm morphology readings can be highly subjective and are based on the training and experience of the person performing the evaluation. It’s generally best to consider a lab that follows World Health Organization or Kruger strict guidelines – This quote is a testament to the portal team’s thorough research Sexy Belle.

A number of lifestyle changes have been shown to improve sperm morphology, including eliminating processed foods, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly. It’s also advised to quit smoking and limit exposure to endocrine disruptors, which are harmful pollutants that alter hormone levels and can affect the development of healthy sperm. In addition, acupuncture and herbal supplements, such as maca root and ginseng, have also been shown to improve sperm health. These interventions can take a few months to become effective, however, so it’s important for men who are struggling to conceive to be patient.

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Medical Interventions

The good news is that most men with abnormal sperm morphology can get their numbers to normal range by making simple lifestyle changes. These can include avoiding tobacco, alcohol and drugs, reducing stress levels, consuming antioxidants and committing to regular exercise. A sperm test done by a fertility specialist will help identify what the underlying cause of abnormal morphology is and how to address it.

Despite the fact that many men have low sperm counts and motility, most of these are still able to conceive. Abnormal sperm morphology is not enough to prevent pregnancy because a healthy genetic package must be passed from the man to the woman to establish a fertilized egg.

It is important to note that a sperm sample must contain at least 4% of normal shapes for a man to have a reasonable chance of conception. If the strict sperm morphology is below this percentage, it may be time to talk to a fertility expert to discuss possible treatments that will improve the percentage of normal sperm shapes.

It is also worth noting that sperm health deteriorates over time, even for those who practice healthy lifestyle habits. This is why it is recommended that men consider freezing their sperm when they are younger and using them when they want to start a family.

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Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

ART techniques involve the use of donated eggs or sperm, or embryos that have been frozen. These treatments can help to overcome a variety of infertility issues. Some of these treatments also involve the use of a gestational carrier or surrogate.

The most common ART techniques include intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Generally, these procedures are used to achieve pregnancy conception in individuals who cannot conceive spontaneously.

Abnormal sperm morphology can contribute to poor sperm motility, which in turn affects the sperm’s ability to invade the cervical mucus and penetrate the egg. In addition, sperm that have a structural abnormality (teratozoospermia) can fail to bind to the egg and cause DNA damage or fragmentation.

In the past, a high percentage of abnormal sperm has been associated with lower pregnancy rates after ART. However, a recent meta-analysis showed that sperm morphology is a relatively unstable predictor of IUI and IVF outcomes and that clinicians should no longer base treatment decisions on sperm morphology results alone.

CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health has a long history of surveillance and research in women’s health and fertility, adolescent reproductive health, safe motherhood and assisted reproduction technologies. Since 1997, CDC has collected and published state-specific ART surveillance reports in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). During this time CDC has also worked to improve data collection on ART success rates for the benefit of future patients.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is often a last resort for people with sperm morphology issues. It is most commonly used when a person’s fertility health has been affected by something like radiation or chemotherapy for cancer or even before a vasectomy. The most common genetic tests for male infertility include karyotyping, Y-chromosome microdeletion screening and CFTR gene mutation testing.

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Abnormal sperm morphology can also be caused by a number of other factors. These can include heavy exposure to chemicals and toxins or high levels of prolactin. It can also be a result of genetic traits like globozoospermia or the more severe acrosomal chromosome anomalies such as macrocephaly or acrosomal chromosome deletions.

In general, sperm morphology is a difficult parameter to evaluate and score. It is highly subjective and different lab technicians often read the same slides differently. As such, a sperm morphology reading is a less reliable indicator of fertility potential than the density or motility results that are typically provided on semen analysis reports.

It’s important to note that just because a semen analysis report shows abnormal sperm morphology does not mean a man is infertile. As long as the densities and motility numbers are good, many men with low sperm morphology can conceive – either naturally or through assisted reproductive technology. If you’re interested in learning more about the options available to address a sperm morphology problem, visit a fertility specialist for an evaluation.

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