Definition - What does Asthenozoospermia mean?

Asthenozoospermia is an infertility condition where a man produces sperm with reduced motility. Motility is a sperm's ability to move straight forward, quickly and is an important factor in natural conception. A reduction of motility decreases the likelihood of sperm successfully swimming up the female reproductive tract in order to fertilize an ovulated egg.

Asthenozoospermia tends to occur in men with kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, and other genetic mutations. Although there is not treatment for this condition, men with asthenozoospermia may still conceive children via an assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as In vitro fertilization (IVF).

Asthenozoospermia may also be known as asthenospermia.

FertilitySmarts explains Asthenozoospermia

A sperm cell is composed of three parts, the head that holds the genetic material, mid-section, which contains the cell parts that create energy to power the last part, which is the flagellum or tail. The cause of asthenospermia includes genetic abnormalities, which prevent the production of cell energy to propel the sperm or diseases that affect the structure of the sperm itself.

Sperm motility is one of the key components to male fertility. Ejaculated sperm need to be motile to penetrate cervical mucus, swim up the female reproductive tract, and penetrate the layers of the egg to fertilize the egg.

Due to the fact that it is only the motility and not the quality of the sperm affected, men with asthenospermia looking to conceive can undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where an immotile sperm is directly inserted in to a female egg and is transferred back to a uterus.

Asthenospermia may be partial, where there are a few motile cells amid a lot of immotile sperm or complete, where all ejaculated sperm are immotile.

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