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Birla Fertility & IVF

What is Teratospermia, Causes, Treatment & Diagnosis

  • Published on July 07, 2022
What is Teratospermia, Causes, Treatment & Diagnosis

Teratospermia is a condition characterized by the presence of sperm with abnormal morphology that affects fertility in males. With Teratospermia achieving pregnancy might not come as easy as we think. In simple terms, Teratospermia refers to the abnormality of the sperm i.e the size and shape of the sperm.

Dr. Meenu Vashisht Ahuja, explains all you need to know about Teratospermia, its symptoms, causes, types, and treatment.

What is Teratospermia?

Teratopspermia, in simple terms, is abnormal sperm morphology, a sperm disorder that causes males to produce sperms that are abnormally shaped and have an abnormal size.

First of all, we need to understand what Teratopspermia means and how it can affect the chances of pregnancy. Teratopspermia means that the morphology of the spermatozoa is altered and, for example, the head or the tail has an abnormal shape. Those spermatozoa with altered morphology can not swim properly, which hinders their arrival to the Fallopian tube, where fertilization takes place. If the semen analysis is done at the right time, i.e before trying to conceive, the abnormal spermatozoa can then be eliminated from the semen sample in the lab when it is being prepared for an IVF or any other assisted reproductive technique.

For that reason, it is advisable to consult with a fertility specialist so that  The doctor will evaluate all your fertility tests and decide which is the best option in your case. The rest of the seminal parameters are normal, which will allow you to use any technique.

Causes of Teratospermia

Teratospermia is associated with male infertility. It means that the sperm is not able to meet the egg due to abnormal size and shape.

The causes of abnormal sperm morphology are many and in some cases, it might be difficult to determine.

The following are the most common causes:

  • Fever
  • Diabetes or meningitis
  • Genetic traits
  • Consumption of tobacco and alcohol
  • Testicular trauma
  • Bacterial infections in sperm
  • Cancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiotherapy)
  • Testicular disorders
  • Unbalanced diet, exposure to toxic substances, too tight clothes, etc.

Also check, miscarriage meaning in hindi

What are the types of Teratospermia?

The severity of this disorder is divided into three types:

  • Mild teratospermia
  • Moderate Teratospermia
  • Severe Teratospermia

Diagnosis of Teratospermia

If and when a man has teratospermia he will not be feeling any pain therefore, the only way to diagnose teratospermia is by a seminogram. The semen sample is sent to the lab to study the shape of the sperm and the size of the sperm. In the lab, the sperm are stained using methylene blue dye.

What is the treatment for Teratospermia?

The teratospermia condition is characterized by morphological abnormalities that can impact fertility by reducing the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. To combat this condition and help fertility issues, the following are a few treatment options that can be advised by the expert based on the severity of the condition:

Lifestyle Modification

  • Diet: An antioxidant-, vitamin-, and mineral-rich diet can help to maintain the general health of sperm. It is advised to limit processed foods and excessive sweets while increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise helps promote better overall health, which can subsequently improve sperm quality.
  • Avoiding Toxins: Sperm morphology can be protected by lowering exposure to toxins and chemicals in the environment, both at home and at work.

Medications

  • Antioxidants: By lowering oxidative stress, antioxidant supplements including vitamin C, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10 may improve sperm morphology. These need to be taken while under a doctor’s care.
  • Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy may be recommended to treat hormonal imbalances that are causing teratospermia.

Surgical Intervention

  • Varicocele Repair: Surgical correction may be undertaken to improve sperm morphology if a varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum) is present and suspected of producing teratospermia.
  • Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART): Ineffectiveness of conventional therapies or severe sperm morphological problems may necessitate the use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART), such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) during in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Bypassing the egg’s inherent barriers to fertilisation, ICSI enables the direct selection and injection of the healthiest sperm into the egg.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Is pregnancy possible with teratozoospermia?  

Yes. Pregnancy can be possible in some cases of teratozoospermia, however, it may be more difficult. Sperm with aberrant morphology (shape) are referred to as teratozoospermia. Even though this may lower fertility, conception is still possible. Teratozoospermia-affected couples may need assisted reproductive methods, such as IVF with ICSI, to improve their chances of becoming pregnant. To determine the best solutions, it is advisable to speak with a fertility professional.

  •  What is the normal range for teratozoospermia?

Teratozoospermia’s normal range is measured by the percentage of sperm with normal morphology (shape), which is often thought to fall within the normal range of 4% or above. Below 4% is frequently regarded as increasing the likelihood of having fertility problems. The precise reference levels, however, could differ between laboratories and fertility clinics. Therefore, it is best and advised to consult a specialist for expert advice.

  • Can teratozoospermia affect the baby?

Once conception takes place, teratozoospermia itself does not have a direct impact on the baby’s health. The primary means by which it affects fertility is by decreasing the likelihood of successful fertilization. The baby’s development after conception is typically unaffected by the sperm’s morphology.

Written by:
Dr Souren Bhattacharjee

Dr Souren Bhattacharjee

Consultant, Birla Fertility & IVF
Dr Souren Bhattacharjee possesses 32+ years of experience as an IVF Specialist. He has extensive experience in the management of male and female infertility, including IVF and Ultrasound. Along with this, Dr Souren has encountered more than 6000 IVF cycles with a very high success rate. Dr Bhattacharjee is a graduate of Gauhati University, 1983. He earned a diploma in gynaecology and obstetrics in 1991 from Dr MGR Medical University. In 1994, he did his Member Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists from London and in 2009, he did his Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists from London.

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