There is not much common knowledge about sperm morphology and what it is. Many people are not even aware of sperm morphology and how it can affect fertility. Sperm morphology is associated with the shape and the size of the sperm, which is as important for fertility as the sperm count.
A normal sperm has an oval head and a long tail. The tail helps the sperm to move forward, and this is termed as progressive motility. Abnormal sperm has a deformed shape. The shape of the sperm could vary from a defective head to a crooked tail, short tail or even a double tail. The abnormal shape of the sperm head could include an abnormally large and misshaped head, which affects its ability to penetrate the egg.
It is normal for men to have a small percentage of abnormally shaped sperm in their semen. Poor sperm morphology is when a large concentration of the sperm is malformed. This could seriously hamper fertility. When the sperm are able to reach the egg, they are not able to penetrate it due to their deformed shape. Usually, a sperm penetrates an egg with its head. An abnormally shaped head suffers a problem of not being able to penetrate the egg. The shape of normal sperm is such that it can penetrate the egg with some effort of pushing and knocking against the egg. The sperm tail helps to build up force. Any abnormality in the sperm shape hampers its ability to enter the egg.
The sperm count is the concentration of sperm in the semen. The most important function of the sperm is its ability to make a woman pregnant is. Sperm motility is its ability to swim progressively, which is vital for it to reach the mature female egg in the fallopian tube. Sperm vitality, which is the activeness of sperm is also important because lazy sperm does not bother to move. It is only the active sperm that will make the trip to the fallopian tubes in search of the egg. The shape of the sperm is called sperm morphology.
If the sperm morphology is inhibiting the female partner from conceiving naturally, then the couple has to look for alternate options to getting pregnant. There are a number of assisted reproductive techniques that can help with conception. Doctors commonly suggest that patients try the In Vitro Fertilisation treatment with the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) procedure.
In this treatment, the mature eggs are extracted from the female partner by stimulating her ovaries with hormone injections. When the eggs are mature, which is around the ovulation period, the eggs are extracted from the ovaries. The eggs are then taken to the lab and checked if they are mature and okay for fertilisation. If all is well with the eggs, then the male partner has to give a semen sample. The embryologist takes one healthy and active sperm and injects it directly into the female egg.
The intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a very successful technique of fertilization and is not affected by poor sperm count, poor motility or bad morphology. The ICSI procedure offers a high rate of fertilisation success ranging up to 80%.
Sperm quality obstructs a natural pregnancy from taking place. The advances in medical science, especially in the fertility sector, has made it possible for infertile people to have their own biological children successfully.