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Houston Fertility Center

Problems with Sperm Shape: What Treatments Are Out There?

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on July 16, 2015

Sperm and eggThe entire team at the Houston Fertility Center carefully addresses the needs of patients, offering advanced treatment options for male infertility and female infertility. Thanks to our personalized state-of-the-art approach to fertility treatment, we have helped numerous patients start the family that they have always wanted.

Sperm analysis is an important first step in diagnosing and treating male infertility. We'd like to take this opportunity to consider issues with sperm shape/morphology, which can have a dramatic impact on a person's ability to father a child.

About Sperm Morphology

Sperm morphology refers to the actual size and shape of a man's sperm. Some sperm may be poorly formed, resulting in issues with the viability of that sperm and in the process affecting a man's fertility and ability to father children.

All men have some amount of abnormal sperm, generally around 4 percent to 15 percent of their total sperm. Higher percentages of poor sperm morphology will make it more difficult for men to successfully father children through natural conception.

Potential Abnormalities in Sperm Shape

Some examples of sperm abnormalities that affect sperm shape include:

  • Large sperm head
  • Small sperm head
  • Double sperm head
  • Crooked sperm tail
  • Short sperm tail
  • Double sperm tail

How Abnormal Sperm Morphology Affects Fertility

All of the above issues with sperm morphology can make sperm less able to swim properly and reach the egg via normal conception. Sperm that swims poorly simply has little chance of negotiating a woman's reproductive system.

As we noted above, all men have some small percentage of abnormal sperm. If the percentage is higher and/or the man experiences issues with sperm count or other issues that affect semen quality, it can make natural conception extremely unlikely or very difficult.

Treatment Options for Abnormal Sperm Morphology

There are a few different options to consider for treating poor sperm morphology:

  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – IUI involves placing sperm directing into a woman's uterus, bypassing the cervix and increasing the chances of successful conception in the process.

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – IVF is a process that involves the fertilization of an egg in a lab setting, which greatly ennhancing the chances of successful pregnancy.

  • Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – ICSI is a process done in the lab involving the injection of sperm directly into an egg to boost chances of successful fertilization.

  • Sperm Donors – If a man's sperm is not viable, it's always possible to select a sperm donor from a database that best fits the need of a couple.

A combination of multiple treatments above may be ideal for a given situation.

How Our Fertility Specialists Can Help You

All cases of infertility are different, and it's important that fertility specialists carefully tailor their treatments to meet the needs of the patient. During the consultation process, we will be sure to answer all questions and address all concerns in order to tailor a solution to meet the needs of your situation.

Schedule a Consultation at Houston Fertility Center

To learn more about all of your treatment options for male and female infertility issues, it's of the utmost importance that you contact our team of fertility specialists today. The team at Houston Fertility Center will work closely with you to ensure that your needs are met and properly addressed.

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9055 Katy Fwy
Ste 450
Houston, TX 77024

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