Sperm function tests
Sperm function tests include a number of laboratory procedures to assess the health, speed, and stamina of a man’s sperm. Some of the specific investigations in sperm function testing include:
- Hemizona assay, which evaluates the ability of sperm to bind to the zona pellucida.
- Sperm antibodies in male and female, which determines the presence of antibodies bound to the sperm membrane or the presence of circulating sperm antibodies in the female partner.
- In-Vitro cervical mucus penetration test, which evaluates the ability of sperm to penetrate cervical mucus in a “test tube” situation. The patient’s sperm is compared against a control. This can also be used to determine whether the partner’s cervical mucus is hostile to sperm.
- Acrosome reaction, which evaluates the proportion of sperm that undergoes an acrosome reaction.
- Hamster sperm penetration test, which evaluates the ability of sperm to fuse and penetrate specially treated hamster eggs.
- Hypo-osmotic swelling, which determines the proportion of sperm that contain intact functional membranes.
- Sperm overnight culture, which can reveal a great deal of information, such as whether spermatozoa do not survive well in culture, or if they are contaminated with bacteria.
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