Having a high percentage of abnormally shaped sperm doesn't necessarily mean that your child will have genetic defects. It's actually normal for a man
Having a high percentage of abnormally shaped sperm doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will have genetic defects. It’s actually normal for a man to have many sperm cells that are not of normal size or shape. In fact, only about 4-14% of your sperm is expected to have normal morphology.
Sperm morphology is just one of several parameters that are measured during semen analysis. Although a low sperm morphology percentage does not directly cause infertility, it does reduce your chances of a successful pregnancy. To learn more about sperm morphology and how to improve your fertility, continue reading.
What are Sperm Abnormalities?
There are many types of abnormalities in the shape or size of sperm cells. Scientists classify sperm morphology abnormalities based on the affected part of the sperm. Sperm head defects are related to the shape, size, and presence of vacuoles in the sperm head. The presence and size of the acrosome on the sperm head are also considered.
When the sperm head is too big or small, that’s already counted as an abnormally sized sperm. When the head is detached, it means that there’s no sperm tail connected to it, so the sperm cell cannot swim.
If there’s no acrosome on the sperm head, it means that the sperm cell wouldn’t be able to fertilize the egg cell at all since the acrosome is necessary for a sperm to penetrate the cell membrane of the egg. Even if the acrosome is present but it’s too small, that’s also counted as a sperm head defect.
The midpiece or neck of the sperm cell basically connects the tail and the head. The midpiece is supposed to be thinner than the head but wider than the tail. If the midpiece is too thick or too thin, that’s considered an abnormality.
It’s also common to find a sperm cell with a bent, asymmetric, or irregularly shaped midpiece.
Sperm tail defects generally affect the ability of a sperm cell to swim forward. If the tail is broken, crooked, or coiled, then the sperm cell may not be able to move properly, thus affecting its motility. Multiple sperm tails are also common, affecting both sperm morphology percentage and count of motile sperm.
How Do Sperm Abnormalities Affect Fertility?
In general, a low sperm morphology means you’ll encounter challenges in getting your partner pregnant. Although it may take you some time, as in several months or even years, you may still be able to successfully conceive through natural means.
However, there are certain cases of teratozoospermia or poor sperm morphology that would require you to undergo assisted reproductive technology in order to have a baby. In cases of severe teratozoospermia, wherein the percentage of sperm with normal form is 0%, doctors typically recommend proceeding to IVF or in vitro fertilization right away.
If your other sperm parameters such as your total sperm count, sperm motility, and semen volume are also problematic, then your doctor may also recommend that you consider assisted reproductive technology.
What If an Abnormal Sperm Fertilized the Egg Cell?
The only problem with a sperm cell with abnormal morphology is if the defect affects the genetic material it contains. Macrozoospermia, for example, is a genetic condition that can lead to infertility or unsuccessful pregnancy.
Macrozoospermia means most, if not all, of your sperm have an overly large and irregularly shaped head, multiple flagella or tails, and abnormal acrosome and midpiece. The reason why the sperm head is so large is that it contains extra DNA material.
Thus, if a sperm cell with this type of abnormality gets to actually fertilize the egg cell, problems may arise later on. The excess genetic material can cause problems with embryo development or even lead to a miscarriage.
Globozoospermia, on the one hand, is another type of sperm abnormality that can also lead to primary infertility. With globozoospermia, the sperm head is round instead of oval-shaped. The main problem is that the sperm head doesn’t have an acrosome, which simply means it cannot fertilize the egg cell at all.
Pinhead or acephalic spermatozoa is another type of sperm morphology abnormality that can also lead to infertility. This condition means that a large proportion of your sperm cells do not have heads at all, which means they don’t contain any genetic material and cannot penetrate the egg cell.
On the other hand, morphological abnormalities in the sperm tail do not really greatly affect the genetic material carried by the sperm cell. However, the sperm’s motility is definitely affected if there are tail defects. This means that your chances of fertilization may decrease simply because many of your sperm cells cannot travel toward the egg cell.
How to Improve Your Semen Parameters
Although assisted reproductive technology is becoming more and more accessible, it’s not always the best solution for couples who are trying hard to conceive. If your sperm morphology is a little bit low and your sperm count is a bit subnormal, it doesn’t mean that you can only father a child through in vitro fertilization.
You have several options for improving your semen parameters through natural means.
You may have already been advised by your doctor to exercise more regularly or to increase your intake of certain nutrients such as vitamin D, zinc, and antioxidants. These are excellent ways to help improve the quality of your sperm and increase your sperm count.
Alternatively, you can also take herb-based supplements to boost your fertility. Certain herbal remedies which have been traditionally used to boost sexual performance and fertility have actually been validated by science.
For instance, Tongkat Ali is known not only as a traditional aphrodisiac but also as a scientifically proven natural remedy for various male fertility and sexual performance issues. Studies have shown that semen parameters such as sperm count, sperm morphology, and sperm motility can be improved after regular supplementation with Tongkat Ali.
To really maximize the sexual and reproductive health benefits you can gain from Tongkat Ali, you should take Male UltraCore, the leading sexual performance enhancement supplement that contains not only Tongkat Ali but also Horny Goat Weed, Tribulus terrestris, Maca, Ashwagandha, fenugreek, zinc, and several other natural ingredients.