A multitude of factors may cause male infertility. Sometimes a combination of factors is responsible for absence of pregnancy in a female partner. Sometimes the deviation of only one factor is to blame. Very few of us know that in 35% of all infertility couples the problem lies in antisperm antibodies. The repeated ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages can also be caused by sperm antibodies in men. If the root cause of your condition is sperm antibodies, it is important to find an experienced specialist, who will work out a step-by-step treatment plan and make sure you cope with the problem of sperm antibodies within a year.
In some cases, sperm antibodies are successfully treated with hormone therapy, but if this treatment is not effective, couples have to resort to assisted reproductive technologies. In Germany, the antibodies in the sperm are often indication for artificial intrauterine insemination.
Below we will cast light on the possible causes of sperm antibodies as well as dwell on the type of treatment patterns.
Why is it so important to determine the causes of sperm antibodies?
The problem of sperm antibodies deficiency is not always evident, which leads to misdiagnosis and further fertility complications. The precondition of successful infertility treatment (curing of male infertility) is identifying the cause correctly right at the beginning of treatment. It helps to avoid the unnecessary diagnosis procedure and start treatment as soon as possible.
Normally sperm is protected from contact with the immune cells of an organism. If this barrier has been disrupted (for example, after vasectomy or testicular trauma), the protective immune cells sperm “perceive” the healthy sperms as foreign particles and begin to attack them, synthesizing specific protective proteins – antibodies. The so called the anti-spermatozoa substances are very unfavorable for those men who want to become father. The immune antibodies cause damage to sperm, impair their mobility and promote bonding of spermatozoa. In addition, the antibodies of IgG- and IgM-class "absorb" sperm at the level of the epididymis, which reduces the total concentration of sperm in men.
How to determine and treat antisperm antibodies?
To determine the number of sperm antibodies in the semen a special MAR-test is performed at German fertility centers. Such a test may be recommended in case of:
- idiopathic infertility, when the more common causes have been excluded
- low activity of sperm after vasectomy, testicular trauma, testicular or prostate infection
- increased level of adhesion of spermatozoa in semen analysis.
Sperm antibodies in semen are never treated separately. It is crucially important to identify the causes of this disorder. This may be a violation of the blood-testis barrier, due to infection or mechanical damage to the testes (trauma, surgery). To identify the causes special physiological tests are indicated (CT, sonography, MRT).
If a man has high level of sperm antibodies in the ejaculate, natural pregnancy is very unlikely to occur. If this disorder is resistible to modern medicines, the couple may be advised to apply to the assisted reproductive technologies (ART), in particular - ICSI-MAQS (microscopic sperm quality analysis for intracytoplasmic injection into the egg) or PICSI (physiological selection of the best sperm for intracytoplasmic injection into the egg) as part of in vitro fertilization program (IVF). The results of this treatment are effective, and the chances of pregnancy are higher (more than 50% during the first IVF cycle).
We would be glad to consult you about the cost and the procedure of MAR-test in Germany as well as give you all the necessary information about assisted reproductive technique.