Sperm Morphology

Definition - What does Sperm Morphology mean?

Sperm morphology refers to the shape of active, living sperm in a man’s semen. Sperm morphology is measured during a semen analysis, which is typically performed on men undergoing fertility testing. An analysis of sperm morphology can provide insight into a man’s chances of contributing to a successful pregnancy or diagnose the cause of male factor infertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Sperm Morphology

In order to determine whether or not a man’s sperm is contributing to a couple’s infertility, a semen analysis is performed. A semen analysis measures three things: sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology.

A typical sperm is shaped similar to tadpole: an oval shaped body with a wide head and a long tail. Concerning abnormalities include deformations of the neck, tail, or midsection of the sperm. Examples of such abnormalities include having a misshapen head or a split tail.

All men produce some degree of abnormal sperm. However, it is the ratio of abnormal to normal sperm that indicates whether or not fertility is at risk. Additionally, abnormal sperm can still fertilize an egg. It is currently unknown if fertilization of an abnormal sperm leads to the presence of genetic disorders or conditions in the resulting pregnancy.

Sperm Morphology

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