Severe teratozoospermia and risk of birth defects

  1. avatar
    Amelie

    Hello,

    My husband was diagnosed with severe teratozoospermia since just 1% of his sperm present a normal sperm morphology 🙁 🙁

    Even so, what are my chances of getting pregnant naturally? If there were any, would there be any risk of our baby developing any chromosomal abnormality, either physical or mental?

    I’m 36 and my husband is 43.

    Thank you very much for your cooperation in advance.

    09/08/2015 at 1:08 pm
    Reply
  2. avatar
    Sandra F.
    Fertility Counselor

    Dear Amelie,

    If you have been trying to conceive for over a year with no luck so far, the most probable outcome is that specialists at your fertility clinic recommend you which will be the most appropriate treatment according to your situation and how other seminal parameters are working (i.e. sperm motility and sperm count).

    Regarding teratozoospermia, its diagnosis depends on which part of your husband’s sperm is altered: the head, the middle-piece or the tail. For instance, in case it is the middle-piece or the tail, achieving pregnancy is almost impossible because it impedes the sperm is able to reach the egg and thus hinders fertilization.

    Conversely, if the abnormal part is the head, the situation may be different, because birth defects may be milder. For example, in case the sperm has an oval-shaped head or a little vacuole, chances for fertilization to occur are still present and your baby will be as healthy as any other newborn.

    However, there are more severe malformations such as pinhead-shaped sperm or balloon-shaped sperm. When that morphologies are detected, it means the genetic load carried by those sperm has some anomaly. Obviously, this would mean that fertilization is unlikely to occur or, in case it happens, fetal development may be stopped at early pregnancy.

    Either way, it should be clear that abnormal sperm morphology is not necessarily related to fetal malformations. Bear in mind that the function of the sperm is just reaching the egg, fertilize it and deliver half the genetic load of the baby-to-be.

    The genetic load is altered only in severe cases where there are malformations in the head of the spermatozoon. Moreover, when there are such severe malformations, chances for a full-term pregnancy are very low.

    Thus, I recommend you to find out which your specific situation is.

    Best wishes.

    09/09/2015 at 1:23 pm
    Reply
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