Spermatozoa production takes place in the testicular seminiferous tubules and the process is known as spermatogenesis. At the end of this process, a germ cell generates 4 mature spermatozoa which will survive in the human body for between 62 and 75 days. The final stage in spermatogenesis, known as spermiogenesis, is a cell differentiation and maturation process consisting of the change from spermatids to spermatozoa. As can be seen in the picture, the spermatids develop from secondary spermatocites and have already undergone Meiosis I and II division. They have a normal set of chromosomes (haploid) which means that fertilisation of a mature egg can take place. Therefore, and despite the fact that they are immature cells, they can be used in assisted reproduction techniques using ICSI when there are no mature sperm in samples taken from the ejaculate or testicles. […]
Asthenozoospermia: What is it? How can it be detected? What course of treatment can be used in order to get pregnant?
Asthenozoospermia is a decrease in the percentage of motile sperm in a sperm sample and it is identified by means of a seminogram or semen analysis.
Nowadays, seminograms are a basic tool which provide us with information in order to evaluate a man’s fertility and they are very useful when determining personalised treatment for the couple concerned. The analysis can be used to evaluate numerous factors such as the concentration, motility and morphology of sperm present in the ejaculate, amongst others.
According to the criteria included in the 5th edition of the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2010) manual, a man has asthenozoospermia when less than 32% of sperm in the ejaculate have progressive motility (sperm which move around) or when there it less than 40% total motile sperm (motile sperm which do and do not move around). […]
A seminogram, or semen analysis, is a basic analysis of a semen sample with the aim of determining semen quality. In order to carry out the analysis correctly, the patient needs to refrain from sexual intercourse for a period of 3 to 5 days. That is, he must not ejaculate during that period and the sample must be obtained by means of masturbation.
The most relevant parameters evaluated in a semen sample include: […]
What happens following the wait (‘the beta hCG wait’) which generates so much anxiety whilst, at the same time, creating the hope that our lives may be changed forever when, in the end, the result is negative?
Many patients say that the absence of symptoms meant that they knew what was coming; others were also expecting the worst because they had begun to bleed prior to getting the result of the analysis.
It’s important to point out that the presence or absence of ‘symptoms’ which women associate with pregnancy are not a means of diagnosis. It’s also important to clarify that vaginal bleeding of varying intensity is not infrequent prior to the programmed pregnancy test date and this does not necessarily mean that the result will be negative. Indeed, the results obtained from an analysis of the pregnancy hormone in blood is the only reliable proof available. A urine analysis is also an option but needs to be carried out a little later on and is not one hundred percent reliable. […]
The tubes connecting the ovaries and the uterus are known as the Fallopian tubes (or uterine tubes). These structures play an essential role in natural reproduction and are responsible for receiving the egg each month and, furthermore, it is here that the union between egg and sperm takes place (fertilisation). They also enable the resulting embryo to be transported to the uterus which is where pregnancy will take place.
A hydrosalpinx is the result of an obstruction at the far ends of the Fallopian tubes which leads to the area becoming filled with liquid. This can lead to the Fallopian tubes becoming very swollen and distended, resulting in a ‘sausage-like’ appearance. In many cases, the obstruction and the liquid that has accumulated impair correct functioning of the Fallopian tube: semen does not travel up, the egg is not received by the tube and fertilisation does not take place, making achieving a natural pregnancy complicated (particularly so if both Fallopian tubes are affected). Alternatively, a hydrosalpinx can lead to pregnancy occurring within the tubes themselves (ectopic pregnancy). […]
Teratozoospermia is an increase in the percentage of abnormal sperm in a sperm sample and it is identified by means of a seminogram or semen analysis.
According to the criteria in the 5th edition of the World Health Organisation (WHO), 2010 manual, a man has teratozoospermia when the percentage of normal spermatozoa in the ejaculate is below 4%.
Defects in sperm […]
Oligozoospermia: What is it? How can it be detected? What course of treatment can be used in order to get pregnant? What about criptozoospermia?
Oligozoospermia is the presence of an abnormally low number of sperm in a semen sample.
According to the criteria in the 5th edition of the World Health Organisation (WHO) manual, normal sperm content in a sample of semen should be equal to or above 15 million per millimetre. If a sperm count gives a result below this figure, this is known as oligozoospermia and it may be associated with fertility issues. More than one sample will need to be evaluated in order to confirm this.
The diagnosis method consists of a spermogram which, amongst other things, gives a sperm count per millimetre of semen. […]
Whilst it is technically possible to choose a child’s gender using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, Spanish law prohibits selecting a baby’s sex, except with a view to avoiding the transmission of genetic diseases associated with the X chromosome. Such is the case, for example, of haemophilia A.
Law 14/2006 indicates that pre-implantation genetic diagnosis may only be used in order to detect serious genetic diseases or those which compromise the viability of an embryo. Therefore, this technique may not be used in order to select a future baby’s gender. Any other use of this technique is a serious offence which is punishable by law. […]
Cytomegalovirus (CMV): What is it? How is it transmitted? What are its symptoms? How can it be treated?
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus from the family Herpesviridae. We also find the chickenpox virus, herpes simplex and the mononucleosis virus in this family.
Infection with CMV is very common since it is present worldwide and can affect anyone. On the whole, it is an infection which does not usually cause any serious health issues. Once the virus has infected a person, it will remain in that person’s body for the remainder of his or her life. In fact, it is usually inactive or latent for a long time and it does not tend to reactivate unless the person’s defence system (immune system) is affected. Most people who are infected by the virus and who do not have serious health issues do not, on the whole, have any symptoms which might cause them to believe that they are infected with CMV. People who do develop some symptoms may suffer from a high temperature, swollen lymph glands, muscle pain or tiredness.
However, in the case of babies infected with the virus during pregnancy or childbirth and in people with a weak immune system, it is considered to be a significant public health problem since it can cause serious illnesses. […]
There are currently many different solutions when spermatozoa are not present in ejaculate. Access to a trained urologist increases chances of achieving spermatozoa in greater quantities and with improved quality.
What is TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration)?
This is a question which many couples ask themselves as they turn to assisted reproduction treatment when the issue is an absence of spermatozoa in semen (azoospermia) with the aim of obtaining sperm. TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration) is a technique used for obtaining spermatozoa by testicular puncture.
Modern-day urology means that spermatozoa can be obtained for use in assisted reproduction techniques using different means. Over the last 10 years, we have improved the chances of achieving good results whilst reducing the invasive nature of the process and improving the quality of samples obtained in cases in which this was not previously possible. Men who have undergone a vasectomy, cases in which the sperm duct is obstructed or patients with cystic fibrosis are common examples in which adequate spermatozoa may be obtained through a simple testicular puncture under local anaesthetic. Different types of biopsy are also prescribed in certain cases. The differences between them are as follows: […]