What is sperm disorder, what causes it?
Sperm disorder means that the number and quality of sperm present in the person is insufficient for fertilization. Depending on some genetic and environmental factors, sperm production from the testicles is traumatically affected and loses the ability to fertilize the egg. Especially during adolescence, traumatic events such as blows, accidents and wounds to the testicular region cause the sperm production center and the structural morphology of the sperms to deteriorate. In addition, harmful habits such as being in extremely hot environments, radiation, exposure to chemicals, excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption directly affect sperm production. In addition, damage to the DNA or subsequent damage is among the main reasons that prevent the development of the embryo. People with sperm disorders can have children with many techniques performed within the scope of IVF treatment methods.
One of the first tests requested from men who have infertility problems and apply to a specialist clinic to have children is semen analysis. Semen analysis includes the detailed examination of the sperm cells contained in the semen sample obtained after 2-7 days of sexual abstinence in terms of number, motility and deformity.
In individuals whose sperm count, motility and morphology are below the values accepted as normal, the higher the rate of decrease, the longer the time required for couples to have children.
What Is Sperm Morphology?
With sperm morphology, it is examined whether there are deformities in the sperm. The most common evaluation methods used for the determination of deformities in sperm in the world are the evaluation method carried out according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Kruger criteria.
In these methods, the sperm cells to be examined are evaluated in detail in terms of different parts of the sperm (head, neck and tail) by undergoing special preparation processes. As a result of the evaluation, results in which the proportion of sperm cells with normal standards is above a certain number are considered normal.
The Importance of Sperm Morphology (Deform) Disorders
In most clinics, sperm are evaluated only on motility and number. In fact, especially in recent years, sperm deformity is more important to us. The reason is that sperm production is a process that takes about seventy days, and in this process, the quality control department does not work in sperm production. In other words, since four of the hundred sperm produced have a normal shape, we consider this sample as normal sperm.
In this process, if there is a problem in production at certain stages, this is usually reflected as deformity in the sperm. Deformity means that if certain deformities appear at a high rate in sperm, we understand how the treatment can go with major deformities during infertility treatment before the procedure.
For example, we know that we will have a fertilization problem in a sample where most of the round-headed sperm, which we call globozol sperm, appear. For this, we can take extra precautions in our laboratory.
The shortness of the tail and some serious abnormalities at the head of the sperm clearly show us what path to follow during treatment or diagnosis. In this respect, morphogic evaluation of sperm is extremely important in treatment and examination.
How Should Sperm Morphology Be?
The sperm cell consists of three parts. These are; the head part, the middle and the tail part. The head contains the genetic material, the middle part provides the energy necessary for the sperm to move, and the tail part provides the movement of the sperm.
- The head length of a normal sperm is: 4 to 5 μm
- Head part width: 2.5 – 3.5 µm
- Length/width ratio of the head part: It should be 1.50 – 1.75.
The tail section is thinner than the central part and is smoothly shaped, without folds, and about 40-50 μm in length.
Sperm Disorder Treatment
One of the questions that patients often ask is “will sperm morphology improve?” It is difficult to say that you can correct the deformities in sperm.
Although it does not seem possible to provide an improvement in this direction in cases where the problem may be hereditary, it is seen that the deformities due to temporary external factors can be corrected after the elimination of these factors.