Sperm has the ability to cause the immune response in males and females. The result of this reaction is that the immune system could generate antibodies to attach to the surface of the sperm. Sperm carrying a high load of antibodies might have a low chance to fertile an oocyte, causing infertility . This type of infertility is termed “immunologic infertility”
A man can produce antisperm antibodies when his sperm contact with his immune system. This can happen when the testicales are injuried or after surgery such as biopsy or vasectomy (thus, testicular sperm retrieval bear a risk of causing antisperm antibodies). A prostate gland infection could also cause antisperm antibodies. About 4.6 – 5.7% of infertile couple are affected by antisperm antibodies.
A women can have allergic reaction to her partner’s semen and causing antisperm antibodies. This kind of immune response is not fully understood.
Antisperm antibodies could cause sperm agglutination, lower sperm mobility. Thus make it harder for sperm to infiltrate through cervical mucus. In the uterine, sperm antibodies attached to sperm could lead to complement cascade, which might fastly destroy sperms. Even when the sperm could reach the oocyte, the antibodies attached to the head of sperm could block the acrosome reaction, which blocks the fertilization.
- Chronic vasectomy
- Inflammation of the vas deferens
- Ectopic testicles
- Testicular cancer
- Homo relation
- Idiopathic infertility
- Partner(s) has Antisperm antibodies
- ASA testing at Gentis using indrect method
- Using immune suppessive therapy
- Sperm processing prior to ART