Teratozoospermia in men, what it is and when it occurs


Teratozoospermia is a disorder that affects sperm quality and it occurs in the man's semen or what is the same, when for various reasons there cannot be an optimal quality to have offspring, can it be attributed to the morphology of the sperm? This is what we will analyze in the following lines and summarize why it happens.

Sperm morphology is important because represents the main gamete of man. Without a solid structure, it will not be able to be strong and swim within the female genital tract to the egg and thus fertilize it. If there are defects in the head, tail or body, this is when the so-called teratozoospermia occurs.

What is teratozoospermia?

teratozoospermia is also called teratospermia, is defined when there is an abnormality in the morphology of the sperm, whether in the head, body or tail. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a man has teratozoospermia when More than 96% of their sperm have this strange morphology. This alteration affects the man's semen and his sperm, as we have already mentioned, has an abnormal shape. For this reason, the egg cannot be fertilized and causes sterility.

What happens when this anomaly occurs? When these defects exist, it is possible that the man wants to have offspring and the sperm want to try to lead to unsuccessful penetration of an egg. It is one of the causes of male infertility and it is necessary to try to do some tests to diagnose this problem.

How is teratozoospermia diagnosed?

To diagnose this problem, a man must undergo several tests over a period of time. Semen quality must be measured, especially the concentration, composition and mobility of sperm.

It does a seminogram or spermiogram, where it consists of analyzing in detail the morphology of the sperm. It is an analysis that is performed every 3 months after 2 to 7 days of sexual abstinence. It is necessary to evaluate to see if after a treatment or a good habit its morphology is improving.


Within these tests, the parameters and measurements of all the pieces and compositions of the tail, head and body. Any identifiable part that does not come close or does not fit within the measurements of a table will be assigned as a problem.

Are there types of teratospermia?

Yes. The defect of these sperm is classified depending on its morphology. For example, there are three types and we have the type of moderate teratozoospermia or accentuated, which falls within the percentage between 5% and 9% of sperm when they are within their normal shape. With this prognosis, it is more difficult for a man to have a child in a more natural way and it will be necessary to do so by applying in vitro fertilization such as ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm microinjection, a selection of sperm under the microscope to be injected into the egg and fertilized)

La Servera teratozoospermia It is between 5% and is when the man is in a much more serious phase. The way to have a natural pregnancy will be much lower and the ICSI or other improved IMSI technique.

La mild or mild teratozoospermia It is when the number of normal sperm ranges between 14% and 10%. The rest of the sperm already have some type of anomaly, but you can still try to have children naturally. If there is no way, you can resort to techniques of assisted reproduction, artificial insemination, sperm mobility or in vitro fertilization.

Why does teratozoospermia occur?

This type of male infertility involves a malformation in the shape of the sperm and They inhibit their ability to fertilize an egg due to their morphology. But why does it happen? The reasons are diverse, they may be natural reasons or for reasons that have occurred due to unforeseen events that were not expected, such as:

  • Trauma that has occurred in the area.
  • Severe fevers.
  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.
  • Due to tobacco, alcohol, drug abuse or inadequate lifestyle habits such as poor diet.
  • Due to genetic alterations.
  • Some of these factors are only temporary and make this teratozoospermia momentary when the effects wear off. If the effects wear off or you take care of your lifestyle, the good morphology of the sperm will be recovered.

Photo from gravida.com

Can sperm malformation be recovered?

If a man suffers from teratorpermisa, he can change his lifestyle and habits in order to recover. For example, tobacco and alcohol can be one of the bad consequences of it.

  • Food can also be a consequence and you have to follow a healthy and balanced diet to recover fertility. The ideal is to eat foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, antioxidants and essential amino acids such as L-carnitine, since they are essential to increase semen quality.
  • It has been shown that foods rich in omega 3 They also provide a great benefit and we can find it in blue fish. The doctor usually recommends vitamin supplements rich in this omega 3 or vitamin E.

assisted reproduction

Assisted reproduction is another option and can be applied to men who have mild teratozoospermia. It involves artificial insemination, as long as the concentration and mobility of the sperm are not altered.

AI or artificial intelligence is working on this work and uses the microscopes to magnify the images and make selections. In moderate or severe teratozoospermia that causes sterility, it will be necessary to use the IVF-ICSI technique. This program performs in vitro fertilization where an intracytoplasmic injection of sperm is used to achieve fertilization of the eggs.

On the other hand, there is IMSI, which consists of an amplification of the image to be able to observe the morphology of the sperm in more detail. With this microscope it is possible to choose much better which sperm are suitable and which can be discarded due to their morphological anomalies. With this microscope, by magnifying the image and with the help of AI, a much more accurate fertilization technique can be done using assisted reproduction with IMSI.

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