Definition - What does Antisperm Antibody mean?
An antisperm antibody is a protein (antibodies) found in the body that has been created as a defense against perceived foreign threats, in this case, sperm. The antibodies are created by the immune system when they sense sperm is present in blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. The antibodies attack the sperm, damaging or destroying it, making it challenging for the sperm to fertilize an egg, and potentially preventing conception from occurring.
FertilitySmarts explains Antisperm Antibody
When women’s bodies create antisperm antibodies it induces a condition called immunologic infertility, and can be considered similar to a semen allergy. When sperm is ejaculated into a woman’s body, her immune system is triggered, and dispatches antibodies to attack the sperm.
Men may also experience the development of antisperm antibodies, however this typically happens when an internal injury or surgery exposes the sperm to the rest of the body. In some cases, exposure to sperm antibodies creates abnormal sperm reactions, including sperm that sticks together, preventing appropriate mobility. This condition is called sperm aggulination.
A test called an antisperm antibody test can determine if the antibodies are present in the body. For couples experiencing unexplained infertility, this test can determine if antibodies are the cause. If so, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be required in order to biologically conceive.