Diagnosis and treatment of immunologically infertile males with antisperm antibodies

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The presence of antisperm antibodies (ASA) can reduce fecundity in both males and females. The present review describes a strategy, established by investigations of the diverse inhibitory effects of ASA on fertility, for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of infertile males with ASA. For infertile males with ASA, diagnosis using the direct-immunobead test (DIBT), the postcoital test (PCT) and the hemizona assay (HZA) should be carried out as the basis for decision-making. If the patient with ASA has an abnormal hemizona index, it seems reasonable to advise selecting intracytoplasmic sperm injection-embryo transfer (ICSI-ET) as a primary treatment. However, it has been shown that some immunologically infertile males with normal fertilizing ability established pregnancy by timed intercourse (TI) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). In such patients with ASA having normal hemizona index, TI or IUI can be selected based on the PCT result. Therefore, the treatment strategy for males with ASA is similar to that for infertile males with oligozoospermia or asthenozoospermia.In conclusion, it should be emphasized that a diversity of ASA exists and their effects on fertility in infertile males. Although there is an argument that routine testing for ASA in males is not always necessary, one should be aware that in some cases of failed IUI or IVF, ICSI is selected afterward because of the diagnosis of ASA.

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