Sperm – Do I Even Matter?

Sperm – Do I Even Matter?

Infertility is a major health issue globally. It is contributed by both male and the female factor equally. To overcome this problem of infertility, ART techniques have created a platform to treat couples suffering from one such problem where the quality of gametes play a major role in determining the ART success. When we define gametes, we imply “The Sperm” and “The Oocyte”, the fusion of which will lead to the formation of an “Embryo”, thus forming a successful outcome. 

Understanding the Male Factor

Coming to the male gamete that is the sperm, it was earlier thought that all the male partners do is to hand out half of their genome to the next generation. However, recent advancements in the field of ART have shown that there is much more than just haploid set of chromosomes.

Sperm also contains three major components which are required to fertilize the oocyte successfully and those components are

  • Phospholipase C Zeta which is important to wake the resting oocyte of the female partner
  • Haploid set which helps in normal development of the embryo
  • Centrioles which help in normal development of the embryo

Regarding the origin of sperm in male body, it is known that they are produced in the testis via Spermatogenesis. During their transit within the male, an important process of sperm maturation takes place. During this transit, the DNA integrity of the sperm is sustained, and the matured sperm cells are released. The major advantage of having mature sperm is that they will have a condensed or mature DNA (rather than immature DNA) which is necessary to form a healthy embryo.

Quality or Quantity or Both?

The phrase “Quality matters not the Quantity” holds good in case of sperm and ART treatment.  The earlier thought process indicated that quality and the developmental potential of embryo is independent of sperm quality. In the 1990s, new data showed that sperm quality and embryo development are connected when the quality of sperm is poor. This is because it is necessary for the sperm to have the capacity to travel and to release enzymes to fertilize itself with the oocyte.

In sub-fertile men with abnormal semen parameters, a small proportion of sperm are functionally normal. In such cases, our qualified technicians at IVF Access will sort and select the best functional sperm that can be used for IUI and assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures. 

The motility (or ability to travel) of the sperm plays a major role in fertilizing the oocyte in-vivo and conventional IVF. 

  • However, in the case of ICSI, motility is less important. At IVF Access, we perform advanced tests including hypo-osmotic swelling to ensure the selection of viable sperm.
  • For male partners with Azoospermia (or zero sperm count), we also offer microsurgical sperm aspiration techniques where our skilled clinicians can retrieve the sperm directly from the testis or epididymis (PESA/TESA/TESE)

At IVF Access, we offer a comprehensive range of treatments for male patients who may suffer from one or more underlying conditions. Our belief affirms our vision that no couple should be excluded from the prospect of starting a family.

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