Treatment for Asthenoteratozoospermia

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Treatment for Asthenoteratozoospermia appears to be a bit of a mouthful, but the condition is a combination of two different conditions, teratozoospermia and asthenozoospermia, both of which affect the sperm cells and cause infertility. Let us separately discuss them and talk about the treatment for each of them. Read More

Treatment for Asthenoteratozoospermia

Treatment for Asthenoteratozoospermia appears to be a bit of a mouthful, but the condition is a combination of two different conditions, teratozoospermia and asthenozoospermia, both of which affect the sperm cells and cause infertility. Let us separately discuss them and talk about the treatment for each of them.

What is Teratozoospermia?

Teratozoospermia is an increase in the percentage of abnormal sperm cells in a semen sample. It is considered a problem when a man has a rate of normal sperm cells below 4%. It is a major cause of infertility as abnormal sperm cells cannot penetrate an egg and achieve fertilization.

Picture courtesy: Aveya

What are the causes of teratozoospermia?

Some of the factors that can lead to teratozoospermia include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Chemotherapy
  • Damage or injuries to the testicles
  • Varicocele
  • Drug abuse
  • Diabetes
  • Vasectomy
  • Fever     

What is Asthenozoospermia? 

Also known as asthenospermia, it is a defect that affects the motility of sperm cells. It is commonly referred to as slow or lazy sperm. When this situation is accompanied by teratozoospermia, it is then referred to as asthenoteratozoospermia. Asthenospermia is a cause of infertility in males as the sperm cells do not have the required mobility needed to reach the egg and achieve fertilization.

What are the causes of asthenospermia?

There are several factors ranging from environmental, genetic, or infectious that could cause this condition. Some of these factors include:

  • Old age
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Infections that affect the semen
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Fever
  • Testicular injuries
  • Vasectomy
  • Varicocele
  • Chemotherapy and radiation exposure
Asthenozoospermia causes
Picture courtesy: Santripty

How is asthenoteratozoospermia diagnosed?     

The condition does not present with any obvious clinical signs; there is normal sexual intercourse and ejaculation. The problem becomes apparent, however, when he is trying to get a woman pregnant, and he then finds that he is unable to achieve pregnancy. The seminogram is a test used to analyze male sperm cells. Motility and morphology are parameters used to assess the viability of the sperm cells via a seminogram. The seminogram evaluates the microscopic and macroscopic aspects of the semen. The macroscopic characteristics examined include volume, viscosity, color, pH, and liquefaction. The microscopic qualities analyzed include the concentration of the sperm cells, the sperm cell motility or mobility, the sperm cell vitality, the sperm cell morphology, and the presence of leucocytes and epithelial cells in the sample.

How is sperm motility analyzed?

The capacity for movement of the sperm cells usually determines it. Two values are generally given, the total movement, which must reach at least 40%, and the progressive motility, which must reach 30% at least. The type of movement is also analyzed, whether it is fast, moderate, or slow.

How is the morphology analyzed?

The parameters checked are the shape of the head, the middle piece, and the tail. When the sperm sample contains more than 4% of sperm with normal morphology, it is considered a normal sperm sample for morphology.

What is the treatment for this condition?

The treatment aims to reverse the condition if it’s not too severe. As many causes are due to lifestyle choices, an effort is to stop the harmful practices that lead to it. Leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding toxic habits like smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse which affect the overall quality of the sperm, are some of the changes that are recommended for individuals suffering from these issues.

Doctors also recommend consuming food rich in vitamins like zinc, for example. In some cases, the condition would have become too severe to be reversed. In those cases, assisted reproduction techniques are advised to achieve pregnancy. However, if the particular cause is known and it is something that can be cured, efforts are made to correct the condition. For example, suppose the cause of the condition is an infection. In that case, antibiotics are prescribed for the patient, and the analysis is repeated after about three months to determine the effect of the therapy.

Asthenoteratozoospermia and Infertility

Asthenoteratozoospermia and Infertility
Picture courtesy: Planet Ayurveda

This condition is a common cause of infertility in males. The sperm cell (before fertilizing an egg) travels a long and difficult path from the time it enters the vagina till it gets to the egg in the fallopian tubes. The shape and the mobility play an important part in the ability of the sperm cell to achieve fertilization and pregnancy, and defects in both parameters result in infertility. In this instance, when natural fertilization becomes difficult, artificial or assisted reproduction techniques are usually recommended.

What are the solutions for getting pregnant?

In vitro fertilization is usually recommended in conditions of infertility caused by that condition. It is generally done by conventional IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Normal artificial insemination is usually not indicated in very severe cases as the sperm still has to ascend the uterus and fallopian tubes to achieve fertilization, meaning that a good number of motile and normally formed sperm cells are required. The assisted reproduction options which are available for individuals suffering from this condition include:

  • Conventional IVF – this can be successful in mild cases of asthenoteratozoospermia. It is the least complicated technique of assisted reproduction that exists. It simply involves the process of placing a large number of sperm in contact with eggs in order to achieve fertilization.
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) – this is suitable for more severe cases. It involves direct injection of the sperm into the egg by the embryologist, so the motility of the sperm cell is not needed.

There are possibilities that even these techniques would not be possible in achieving or maintaining pregnancy. In those cases, donated sperm can be used to achieve fertilization; this is called surrogacy. In this instance, the donated healthy sperm can be used either in conventional IVF or in ICSI in order to achieve fertilization and pregnancy.

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