Last Updated: May 16, 2018

Definition - What does Globozoospermia mean?

Globozoospermia is an abnormality in the shape of the head of the sperm. Instead of an oval shape, the sperm has a rounded head and is missing the special capsule called the acrosome that contains enzymes that break down the outer layer of the egg, to allow for penetration and fertilization.

There are two types of globozoospermia, total and partial. In total globozoospermia, all of the sperm have an abnormal shape and this causes infertility. In partial globozoospermia, only a portion of the sperm have an abnormal shape and the other sperm are normal, causing only a decrease in fertility. This is a cause of male infertility, although it is uncommon.

FertilitySmarts explains Globozoospermia

Globozoospermia is diagnosed through a semen analysis. A semen analysis is performed by looking at freshly ejaculated sperm under the microscope. The semen analysis evaluates the movement (motility) of the sperm, the amount (concentration) of sperm, and the shape (morphology) of the sperm.

The majority of cases of globozoospermia are caused by a mutation in a specific gene responsible for forming sperm, but there are also unknown sources for the cause of globozoospermia. There is no cure for abnormal sperm shape, but a treatment option for globozoospermia is a form of assisted fertilization called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI is performed as part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. A small needle is used to make a hole in the outer layer of the egg and a single sperm is then placed inside the egg to fertilize it. This procedure removes the need for sperm to independently locate and fertilize an egg.

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