Sperm Morphology – What Is It & How Does It Affect Fertility

March 19, 2024

Sperm Morphology – What Is It & How Does It Affect Fertility

The topic of fertility is important for both men and women as good reproductive health is crucial in both partners to conceive. Consequently, it is worth noting that male infertility accounts for about 30-40% of all cases of infertility. One important aspect of male fertility is sperm morphology. In this blog, we will explain what is sperm morphology and how it affects fertility.

What is Sperm Morphology?

Sperm morphology refers to the size and shape of sperm. In order for sperm to be considered normal, they should have a healthy shape and structure. Abnormalities in sperm morphology can make it more difficult for them to reach and fertilise an egg.

Understanding How Sperm Morphology Affects Fertility

Sperm with abnormal morphology may have difficulty swimming properly or penetrating the egg. This can significantly reduce the chances of successful fertilisation and pregnancy. Even if fertilisation occurs, abnormal sperm morphology can increase the risk of miscarriage or genetic abnormalities in the embryo.

Causes of Abnormal Sperm Morphology

There are several factors that can contribute to abnormal sperm morphology:

  1. Genetic Factors: Some men may have a genetic predisposition to abnormal sperm morphology.
  2. Lifestyle Choices: Certain lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, poor diet and lack of exercise can negatively impact sperm morphology.
  3. Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone levels, can affect sperm production and lead to abnormalities.
  4. Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, chemicals, radiation or high temperatures (such as from tight clothing or hot tubs) can affect sperm quality.
  5. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions like varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum), infections or hormonal disorders can also contribute to abnormal sperm morphology.

Treatment for Abnormal Sperm Morphology

There are several treatment options available for men with abnormal sperm morphology. The most common approach is to undergo fertility treatments such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

In IUI treatment, sperm with abnormal morphology can be separated from healthy sperm and directly inserted into the woman's uterus during her fertile period. This increases the chances of successful fertilisation.

In IVF procedure, the woman's eggs are retrieved and fertilised with the partner's or a donor's sperm in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman's uterus. By bypassing natural fertilisation, An IVF procedure can overcome issues related to abnormal sperm morphology.

Since this is not a one size fits all situation, a fertility specialist will conduct fertility tests and thorough physical evaluations and recommend a treatment that best suits the individuals need. The customised treatment plan by the fertility specialist will depend on various factors, including the underlying cause of the abnormal morphology and the couple's overall health.

In conclusion, recognising the importance of fertility for both men and women is paramount, with male infertility comprising a significant portion of infertility cases. Exploring sperm morphology provides insights into its pivotal role in conception. By consulting fertility specialists and devising personalised treatment plans, addressing underlying causes becomes key to enhancing fertility prospects. Ultimately, understanding and addressing male fertility issues contribute to a holistic approach in the journey toward parenthood.

If you have concerns about your fertility or are experiencing difficulty conceiving, seek the expert guidance of a fertility specialist at Apollo Fertility. The highly experienced team of fertility doctors offers comprehensive fertility treatments tailored to individual needs. With our compassionate and expert team, we are here to support you on your journey to parenthood.

Can abnormal sperm morphology be improved naturally?

While lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight and managing stress levels may help improve overall sperm health, they may not significantly impact sperm morphology. It is best to consult with a fertility specialist for appropriate treatment options.

How can I find out if I have abnormal sperm morphology?

A comprehensive fertility test, including a semen analysis, can help determine if you have abnormal sperm morphology. Your fertility specialist will guide you through the process and suggest further steps based on the results.

Are there any foods or supplements that can improve sperm morphology?

While certain foods and supplements are believed to promote overall sperm health, there is limited scientific evidence specifically linking them to improved sperm morphology. It is advisable to follow a balanced diet and consult with a healthcare professional for personalised recommendations.

Can abnormal sperm morphology be a sign of other fertility issues?

Yes, abnormal sperm morphology can be an indicator of underlying fertility issues. It may be accompanied by other factors such as low sperm count or poor motility. A thorough evaluation by a fertility specialist can help identify the root cause and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

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