What is Globozoospermia?
Pedieos IVF has experience dealing with difficult cases and severe problems for many years now, so when we have success stories, we are extremely happy. One example is the case reported in HUMAN REPRODUCTION in 1995 by Dr Trokoudes et al. regarding a male with globozoospermia and how the clinical and laboratory team managed to help his partner conceive and maintain a pregnancy for more than 7 months.
What is globozoospermia?
Globozoospermia is a rare condition in males, whereby the spermatozoa have an abnormal, round-shaped head with no acrosome, causing infertility. The acrosome is needed in order to help the sperm break through the outer layer of the oocyte, to allow fertilisation to take place. If there is no acrosome, the sperm cell cannot reach the oocyte and there is no joining of their DNA for fertilisation.
As shown in the microscopy images below, normal sperm cells (A) have an oval-shaped head, with a layer at the top, called the acrosome. Globozoospermic spermatozoa (B) lack this additional layer. Patients have been found with both total globozoospermia (100%) and others with a mixture of globozoospermia and spermatozoa with normal shaped heads.
How can globozoospermia be detected?
Men usually discover this condition after trying naturally for a baby and have no pregnancy with their female partner. The diagnosis involves a very simple semen analysis, or else spermogram, whereby a sperm sample is produced and the laboratory checks the sample under a microscope to establish the values of the sperm parameters.
How can a patient with globozoospermia have children?
Patients with complete globozoospermia (100%) will require assisted reproduction techniques in order to be able to conceive a baby with their partner. Intracytoplasmic injection (ICSI) is utilised in these cases to perform the fertilisation. This means that each sperm will be injected into each egg, bypassing the function of the acrosome. Therefore fertilisation can still be achieved.