Spermatology Introduction

Spermatology is a science of semen. Compared to obstetrics, e.g., Cesarean birth, which has more than 1000 years of history, the spermatology is a new science, which is about 40 years old.

Semen is a mysterious and great fluid. Spermatozoon is one of the origins of a human life. The criteria of normal human semen parameters are described as follows.

Criteria of Normal Human Semen

Term Definition

  • Motility: 50% or more with forward progression, 25% or more with rapid progression within 60 minutes of ejaculation
  • Morphology: 30% or more with normal forms (should be Adjusted downwards when more strict criteria are applied)
  • Vitality: 75% or more live, i.e., excluding dye
  • White Blood Cells: Fewer than 1 million/ml
  • Immunobead Test: Fewer than 20% sperm with adherent particles
  • MAR Test: Fewer than 10% sperm with adherent Particles

(Notes: Immunobead Test and MAR Test are sperm antibody tests.)

Human semen may contain high concentration of 10 or more different types of bacteria, viruses or others.

All semen contains not only sperm that are abnormal or dysfunctional in terms of chromatin, motility, and morphology, but also somatic cells such as leukocytes, lymphocytes,erythrocytes, epithelial cells, as well as cellular debris and chemical substances. Bacterial contamination may originate from a genuine infection or a chronic carrier state on the part of the partner, or it may come from bacteria colonizing the partner’s genitor-urinary tract mucosa, skin, body hair and hands.

Statistics show that in 56% of women who undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI) using sperm preparation with the traditional swim up technique, bacterial culture of a sperm-containing sample of intra-abdominal fluid collected via laparoscope an hour or more after the procedure demonstrates the presence of bacteria that were originally present as contaminants in the semen specimens. With intra-cervical insemination (ICI) techniques, 10% of women show evidence of intra-abdominal contamination.

In respect to sperm chromatin heterogeneity, double-stranded DNA is normal and fertile, while single-stranded DNA is abnormal and infertile (or very low fertile).

Abnormal chromatin or single stranded DNA may range from 10 to 60% in fertile men, and from 10 to 90% in infertile subjects.

Sperm containing abnormal chromatin (either infertile or very low fertile) is unsuitable for artificial insemination purposes.

In average, up to 45% of sperm in normal semen is abnormal in terms of chromatin content. With conventional methods of sperm preparation, this percentage can be reduced somewhat, but there are 15-20% of abnormal-chromatin sperm remaining in the post-treated sperm sample, that is used for artificial insemination.

Furthermore, approximately 10% of miscarriages are due to abnormal-chromatin content in sperm and/or ovum.

Because of lack of more efficient sperm preparation method, such imperfections were unavoidable in the past, but this is no longer the case after the advent of the “Wang Tube Real-Time Sperm Micro-Separation Technology”, which can collect almost fully (about 99%) highly motile, microorganisms-free, morphologically-normal, normal-chromatin and fertilizable spermatozoa for clinical use. At present, our Center applies this unique technology for our patient’s treatments.