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 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: […]
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 […]
When a couple is faced with difficulties getting pregnant, there is approximately a 50% chance of the reason for this being a factor in the male partner.
The main cause of fertility issues in men is poor semen quality. Therefore, various parameters in semen need to be analysed in order to determine what the quality of the semen is. Two parameters are particularly important: the concentration or quantity of sperm in semen and their motility. This needs to be adequate in order to ensure that the egg is fertilised.
There are several quick tests available on the market. They are similar to female ovulation tests and they are understood to carefully evaluate semen quality and determine if a man is fertile or not. But are these tests really useful in understanding semen quality? […]
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: […]
In contrast with the old-fashioned belief that reproduction issues are a female thing, current figures are clear: 47% of infertility cases in a couple are down to an issue with the man. Therefore, when a couple has infertility issues and they seek the help of a clinic specialising in assisted reproduction, the tests and analyses are carried out on both members of the couple. This practice of looking into both the female factor and the male factor is now common and carried out by all experts in the field, but there is still a lack of understanding of the fertility issues which men can have. What are they? What solutions do leading assisted reproduction clinics offer nowadays?
The most common issues amongst men are “changes in the sperm count with no apparent cause”, explains Instituto Bernabeu in Alicante. That is, a low number of sperm, poor sperm mobility or abnormal morphology. Additionally, there may be more concrete and identifiable reasons for changes in sperm such as obstruction issues, infection, diseases or genetic reasons which impede egg fertilisation or which affect embryo quality. […]
Scientific evidence from the last 15 years shows that without a doubt, environmental toxins before conception and during pregnancy cause long-lasting effects on reproductive health. An example of this is the exposure to mercury, which causes cognitive impairment in children. Another example is the exposure to agricultural pesticides, which is associated with sperm quality alterations and higher incidence of testicular and prostate cancer for men, and in women it interferes with the development of puberty, ovulation, fertility and menopause. […]
It is well known that having the best possible sperm quality is important to the success of assisted reproduction techniques. To achieve this, the lab has to improve sperm quality based on its motility and morphology, selecting the sperm that is considered to be the best.
However in every ejaculate sperm with abnormal membranes are found, which are programmed to “die”. This process is called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Approximately 20% of sperm in subfertile patients are thought to be in the process of “celular death”. […]
At Instituto Bernabeu, we have developed a specific programme with protocols designed to treat repeated miscarriages and unsuccessful assisted reproduction treatments through the multidisciplinary approach that allows us to diagnose and therefore overcome these problems.