Our immune systems generate antibodies to protect us, and usually sperm cells are hidden from the immune system in the testes. However, sometimes this protective barrier can be compromised by inflammation in cases such as mumps, testicular injury, or surgery. As a result, the immune system sees the sperm for the first time and develop antibodies against them, affecting their quality and their ability to swim freely.
At HARI, we can carry out semen analysis in our laboratory, where, if the antibodies presence has had significant impact, the embryologist will try to separate out the good quality sperm from the poorer quality. Most cases see sufficient sperm retrieved to consider options such as IVF or IUI. If the antibodies have reduced the availability of good quality sperm then ICSI will be the recommended treatment option.