Phone: (713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Dec 24, 2015 — by Larry Lipshultz

An older man smilingDr. Larry Lipshultz has helped Houston patients dealing with male fertility and infertility issues. Using state-of-the-art techniques and advanced care, he helps ensure that everyone who visits his practice gets the assistance they need to start a family.

The overall quality of a man's sperm is important to assess. With that in mind, we want to consider issues related to sperm morphology and why abnormally shaped sperm are a problem.

About Sperm Morphology

Sperm morphology is a term used to discuss the size and shape of the sperm. Both of these matters have a major impact on overall quality of the sperm and can have an impact on male fertility.

Normal sperm should have an oval-shaped head with a well-defined cap, with a single healthy tail. Abnormally shaped sperm can run the gamut. Sometimes the sperm may have a very large or small head, or in some cases two heads. In other cases, the size of the tail may be an issue. Some abnormally shaped sperm have two tails.

In essence, having healthy sperm with proper shape and size is a sure way to improve your chances of successful pregnancy and live birth.

What Causes Abnormal Sperm Shape?

There are three common causes of abnormal sperm shape and poor overall morphology. They are as follows:

  • Genetic traits
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Heightened testicular temperature

While genetic factors affecting sperm morphology cannot be helped, any sperm morphology issues linked to toxic substances and increased temperature of the testicles can be addressed in varying degrees through lifestyle modifications/adjustments.

Why Sperm Morphology Should Be Taken Seriously

When a man's sperm are abnormally shaped, this can make it more difficult to conceive through natural means. Issues with sperm morphology can affect the motility of the sperm, meaning that they do not swim as well or as efficiently. In addition, poor sperm shape can mean an increased chance of birth defects and issues with fetal health.

Ultimately it's important to have healthy sperm that are properly formed if you want to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a child with reduced chances of experiencing birth defects and developmental issues.

Other Issues Regarding Sperm Quality

In addition to sperm morphology, it's also important to consider other factors that may affect overall sperm quality. This include the sperm motility and the sperm count in a man's semen. During a consultation with our team, we will be sure to note all of these factors when determining the ideal treatment option for you and your needs.

Treatment Options for Poor Sperm Morphology

As noted above, sperm morphology issues related to testicular temperature and toxic exposure can both be addressed through certain changes in lifestyle. For instance, patients may be instructed to avoid saunas, wear boxers, and avoid laying laptops in their laps to ensure a more ideal testicular temperature. Medical treatments or extra precautions can be taken at home and at work to help prevent toxic materials from affecting male fertility.

In addition, assisted-reproduction procedures may be performed that help select healthy and viable sperm with regular shape, preventing abnormally shaped sperm from potentially fertilizing an egg.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Larry Lipshultz

If you would like more information about your treatment options for addressing issues with infertility, we encourage you to contact a skilled men's health and fertility center today. Dr. Larry Lipshultz and the team at the practice will help you make the best treatment decisions.