Human health is internally maintained by the body’s immune system. The human system produces protective proteins known as antibodies and releases them into the body. These antibodies patrol the blood stream. If the antibodies come across invading alien particles like bacteria, they latch onto them and attack them. Sometimes however these antibodies turn against the body; they end up attacking healthy cells and tissues in the body instead of protecting them.
Antisperm antibodies are one such example. They target sperm in the body; attacking and at times destroying healthy sperm. This has a negative impact on the quality and fertility of the sperm. Antisperm antibodies affect sperm in two ways – they outright kill the sperm or they affect the motion of the sperm.
Antisperm antibodies may be present in both women and men. While the exact cause is unknown, in men antisperm antibodies may develop after a severe infection, injury or surgery. These may be a result of a biopsy, vasectomy, etc. In women, the body could experience an allergic reaction to semen. The immune system thereby develops anti sperm antibodies and attacks sperm entering the system during sexual intercourse.
Antisperm antibodies tend to latch on to healthy sperm and affect them. They lower sperm motility which makes it difficult for the sperm to pass through cervical mucus during intercourse. It also causes sperms to clump together and moving in slow circular motion instead of swimming forth. In couples trying to conceive, antisperm antibodies in the body cause infertility.
An antisperm antibodies test is undertaken to establish the presences of antisperm antibodies in the bloodstream following which antisperm antibodies treatment can be initiated. The test procedure requires samples from both the male and female partners. A blood sample is needed from the woman to determine count of antisperm antibodies. A post coital test is also recommended as this helps to determine presence of antisperm antibodies in the cervical mucus in the woman’s body. Once the blood and vaginal fluid has been collects, men are required to produce a semen sample for testing. The samples are introduced to a binding substance. If the substance attaches to the sample it indicates the presence of antisperm antibiotics.
For couples trying to conceive, the presence of antisperm antibodies limits the sperms ability to reach the egg and fertilize it. This results in infertility. In such cases suggested antisperm antibodies treatment includes corticosteroids, in vitro fertilization treatment and insemination along with therapy