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Can an abnormal shaped sperm cause miscarriage?

Answered by: Dr Dharm Raj Singh

Chief of Urology, Campbellton Regional Hospital, St. Joseph Health Center, New Brunswick, Canada

Q. I am a 31 years old male who has been planning for a child for the last two years. My wife got pregnant after one year of trying but had a miscarriage after five weeks. We tried for another year but no results so far. The doctor suggested me to undergo semen analysis, which showed 66 % of abnormal size / shaped sperms and decreased viscosity. All the parameters like volume, sperm count, motility, etc were fine. My wife’s report is also normal. The doctor told us that miscarriage might have been caused due to the abnormal sperms. Does an abnormal sized / shaped sperm cause miscarriage?

A.  Abnormally sized / shaped sperms, also called as abnormal morphology (Teratospermia) may be one of the factors for recurrent pregnancy loss. Some laboratories do semen analysis and sperm morphology with strict Kruger criteria. You may need to do this because it gives more detailed information about semen analysis and sperm morphology. With Kruger criteria, >14% of normal looking sperms indicate normal semen quality. Genetic testing (karyotyping), DNA fragmentation test and anti-sperm antibodies are other important special blood and semen tests which may need to be done for detail evaluations of recurrent pregnancy loss. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) like Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be required in your case if natural pregnancy does not succeed. In ICSI, a normal looking sperm can be picked up and utilized for fertilization. You may need to consult an ART centre in near future if normal pregnancy is not successful.

A.  Abnormally sized / shaped sperms, also called as abnormal morphology (Teratospermia) may be one of the factors for recurrent pregnancy loss. Some laboratories do semen analysis and sperm morphology with strict Kruger criteria. You may need to do this because it gives more detailed information about semen analysis and sperm morphology. With Kruger criteria, >14% of normal looking sperms indicate normal semen quality. Genetic testing (karyotyping), DNA fragmentation test and anti-sperm antibodies are other important special blood and semen tests which may need to be done for detail evaluations of recurrent pregnancy loss. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) like Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be required in your case if natural pregnancy does not succeed. In ICSI, a normal looking sperm can be picked up and utilized for fertilization. You may need to consult an ART centre in near future if normal pregnancy is not successful.

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