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Asthenozoospermia is a term that means reduced sperm motility. Sperm motility, in turn, refers to how well sperm move. The ability of sperm to move ahead is called forward progression. In general, sperm is distinguished by its progressive and non-progressive motility or altogether immotility. When sperm has low motility or is immotile, it can negatively affect male fertility.
Fertility, or the ability to conceive a child, can be hampered by many things. Both males and females might experience infertility, which could be caused by a myriad of factors. Along with asthenozoospermia, other causes of male infertility include having no sperm, low sperm count or abnormal sperm. Additional factors that might affect infertility are health problems and environmental conditions.
Male infertility can be diagnosed through many different means, including a physical exam and disclosure of medical history. Asthenozoospermia is usually checked through semen analysis, which is done by a fertility specialist. For this exam, several samples may be collected for examination to ensure the accuracy of the results.
During the analysis, the samples are examined based upon six different aspects that make up healthy sperm. Four of these aspects are concentration, morphology and volume in addition to a standard fluid test. Concentration deals with the ratio of sperm per milliliter; morphology refers to the shape of the sperm. Volume means the total volume of the semen sample, and the standard fluid test examines the thickness and color of the sperm.
The other two aspects analyzed in the semen analysis involve sperm motility: the percentage of sperm movement within the semen and a count of the total number of moving sperm. Motility is determined by the ability of the sperm to reach the egg in order for fertilization to happen. Progressive motility means the sperm is active, whether moving linearly or in big circles. In non-progressive motility, the sperm is active although there is no forward progression. When sperm does not move, it is referred to as immotility.
Since there are various factors that can affect fertility, different methods of medical treatment exist to improve the chances of conceiving a child. With asthenozoospermia, the problem lies in the inability of sperm to move towards the egg. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a treatment method that might be able to help with this dilemma, as it involves directly injecting sperm into the egg. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common form of ART.