etting Pregnant and Sperm Health: Immunological Infertility

Immunological infertility is one condition that negatively affects a couple’s chances of getting pregnant. The cause of this male fertility problem has not been definitively identified, however there are various factors that are believed to contribute to this type of male infertility. Nonetheless, a variety of male infertility treatments can help to minimize the effects of this condition so as to improve a couple’s ability to get pregnant.

What is Immunological Infertility?

Immunological infertility is a condition that generally occurs in men, although it can also be a form of female infertility.

This condition causes the immune system to react to its own sperm by attacking and neutralizing them. The immune system reacts in this way because it regards the sperm as foreign cells that are invading the body.

What Causes Immunological Infertility?

The exact cause of this form of male infertility has as of yet not been confirmed.

However, the following are believed to contribute to immunological infertility and as such are thought to cause this condition:

  • bacterial infection
  • cancer
  • varicocele
  • vasectomy


There are generally no symptoms associated with immunological infertility.

In addition, symptoms of a previous infection that can be the cause of infertility may also not be evident; however in such cases, an infection may still be present in the body.


An antisperm antibodies test is used in order to diagnose immunological infertility. This test analyzes for the presence of sperm and combines a semen sample with the woman’s blood sample.

Treatment Options

While there is some ambiguity regarding the causes and symptoms of immunological infertility, there are a variety of treatment options available. These treatment options range from drug therapy to assisted reproduction.

  • steroids this drug therapy suppresses the production of antisperm antibodies, thereby minimizing the response of the body’s immune system. They typically involve high doses of medication for a period of a few months. Examples of possible drug treatments include Cortisone, Prednisone and Dexamethasone.
  • antibiotics a form of male infertility treatment that is used when bacterial infection is believed to be the cause of immunological infertility.
  • assisted reproduction procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) as well as intratubal insemination (ITI).

Speak with your doctor about which treatment option is best for you.

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