The relation of computer-based measures of sperm morphology and motility to male infertility.
We investigated the relation between various sperm characteristics, including morphometric parameters, and impaired fertility among 596 men who participated in a national study. Semen was collected and processed by using a standardized protocol, and sperm measurements were made using a computer-aided sperm analysis instrument. We defined infertility in two ways: (1) the inability to father a child after trying for a year or longer, and (2) the number of children fathered. We found that all measures of sperm motion were decreased among men with impaired fertility. After adjustment for the other motion parameters and various potential confounders, however, only the percentage of progressive cells was associated with infertility. One morphometric parameter, the mean length/width ratio, was consistently associated with both measures of infertility, even after adjustment for potential covariates. This measure was also strongly associated with infertility among various subgroups defined by poor sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. The sperm length/width ratio appears to be an important correlate of infertility in males.
Boyle, CA; Khoury, MJ; Katz, DF; Annest, JL; Kresnow, MJ; DeStefano, F; Schrader, SM
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