Anti-Sperm Antibodies
12 Replies
Gigi - February 28

Hello Dr. Smith,

I tested positive for anti-sperm antibodies at 24% (using an immunobead test with a cut-off for normal at <19%). In my case, the Dr mentioned these antibodies attack the head of the sperm (I guess they can attack either the head or tail).

I have some questions that I'm hoping you can answer for me:

Is having antibodies 5% above the normal range really that significant of an impact on my fertility potential (assuming that my husband and I have no other issues)?

How accurate are these tests?

What causes one to have anti-sperm antibodies? Is it hereditary?

Is Medrol with IUI/Follistim an appropriate treatment for this? I've heard conflicting information about the effectiveness of Medrol for this issue.

Thanks for the info.


Gigi - March 6

Hi Dr. Smith,

I think my below posting may have been lost in the queue. Thanks!


Dr Smith - March 10

Most of your questions can be answered at the URL below:

percent above normal is not very much and these tests are not that accurate, so 5% is not a big deal. The treatment of choice when women are positive for antisperm antibodies is IUI (with or without ovarian stimulation). Medrol is a steroid that suppresses your immune system a little bit. It may not be effective in the treatment of antisperm antibodies, but it won't hurt either.


mohammad alshammary - March 20

what is the solution for mycase
iam not in usa. antisperm and antibody analysis is not available in bangkok-thailand. how icould improve my active sperm 10%,amount 1/mm or lower.iam 60 years old but very active and healthy except this problem.ihave one son 5 years old.


Dr Smith - March 20

There is a reduction in sperm production and motility in men after the age of 50. It is part of the natural aging process. The reduction in sperm production and motility cannot be significantly improved by any known medical means (this includes accupunture and herbal medicines).


Nikki - April 5

I have been trying to conceive for 3yrs now and have had 3 failed IUI's and 3 failed IVF's. What can you recommend for an herbal remedy that I can take, as I have been told that the only other possibility is that I have an anti-sperm anti-body, and I just can't take another heartbreak at the Dr's office, nor can I afford to go for treatments anymore. I am currently taking vitex/chaste tree extract and that has sort of regulated my menstrual cycle. Now I need to find a way to control the antibodies. I also have hyperprolactinemia. Please help. I am at my wits end here.


Dr Smith - April 5

I am not a physician. I am a Reproductive Biologist and my expertise lies in sperm, eggs and embryo. I suggest you consult with a DO about naturopathic remedies for your conditions. Antisperm antibodies are a permanent condition. There is no treatment.


HopefulK - April 27

Dr. Smith,
I have ASA. I did IVF 2 years ago, hyperstimulated so we froze all my embryos. I have had 2 failed FET's (one chemical pregnancy) now I am getting ready to go through one more. Do you have any statistic for me for my success rate in ASA with FET? Do you have any suggestions for me to prepare for the FET? Does the quality of my embryos go down since they have been frozen for 2 years?

Thank you for your help HopefulK


Dr Smith - April 28

Antisperm antibodies (ASA) in women is rare, so there isn't a lot of data out there. However, performing ICSI can overcome low fertilization rates and the presence of ASA does not appear to affect implantation. The studies out there concluded that the chances for ASA positive patients was equivalent to that of ASA negative patients.

Follow your doctor's instructions for preparation for the FET. It's relatively simple protocol that is standard in most programs.

Cryopreservation for extended periods of time does not have a detrimental effect on the developmental potential of the embryos. No worries.


HopefulK - May 1

Dr. Smith,
Thank you very much for you reply! Yes I have searched high and low for data on female ASA but not a lot out there. I have 99% ASA :( I meet with my RE tomorrow to discuss my protocol. Are there any questions you can suggest I ask?

In the last 2 years have there been any break throughs in helping the embryo's attach to the wall after a transfer? A while back I heard something about some kind of glue? I am hoping there has been new findings since my last transfer, making more positive results.....


Dr Smith - May 2

Sorry for the delay in my response. You've probably already talked to your doctor.

You are referring to "Embryo Glue", a commerical product made by Vitrolife used to transfer the embryos to the uterus. Other than the company's own sponsored research, there is no hard data to support the notion that Embryo Glue actually works. That being said, we have been using it for a few years and did notice a slight increase in implantation rate following transfer of hatched blastocysts in Embryo Glue.

Since you have ASA (an immunological disorder), you might want to consider autoimmune testing to determine if your have an elevated level of natural killer (NK) cells or abnormal NK cell activation, as these may interfer with successful implantation.


Ellie - May 7

Dr. Smith,

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with PCOS on my first visit to the RE. I did four IUI's (2 with FSH) and became pregnant with twins. Since their birth and taking 1500 mg of Metformin I now have regular ovulating periods.

My husband and I began trying to conceive again last summer without success so we visited the RE again. She tested for ASA's and I was told I am 94% positive and my husband is negative. The RE suggested IVF.

Why would she suggest IVF when I became pregnant before with IUI's?
Is it possible that just bypassing hostile mucus will cause pregnancy?
Please offer some experience with cases similar to mine.
Is there anything I can do to lower these antibodies?
How accurate are the tests?
Does my egg necessarily have antibodies surrounding it to fight of sperm penetration.

I am distraught at IVF being my solution. Physically and Financially. Any and all insight and advice is greatly appreciated.


Dr Smith - May 9

The tests are accurate. The antisperm antibodies are found in all of your bodily fluids, including cervical mucus, and uterine and tubal fluids. The antibodies immobilize the sperm and prevent fertilization. There is no question that IVF is the work-around of choice for ASA. You may try IUI, but if it doesn't work after a couple of trys, I'd move on to IVF.



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