Evaluation of the presence of antisperm antibodies in semen

Antisperm antibodies belong to different immunological classes, but only IgG and IgA classes are clinically relevant. These antibodies occur in men most commonly as a result of previous (or ongoing) infection or injury and may be one of the causes of male infertility. Their presence is detected, according to some studies, in up to 8% of infertile patients and IVF procedure with ICSI is the best option. Different mechanisms may adversely affect the ability of sperm to fertilize an oocyte:

  • blocking effect decreasing sperm motility by binding them to their surface
  • agglutination mechanisms underlying the formation of sperm aggregates
  • negative effect on capacitation and acrosome reaction, thus disabling a proper interaction between sperm and oocyte

This immunological examination is indicated:

  • in the case of idiopathic infertility
  • in repeatedly failed intrauterine inseminations
  • in infections of the male genitalia and varicocele
  • when other investigations have produced no solution for the infertile couple

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