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Sperm morphology: Tests and results

Sperm morphology: Tests and results

Sperm morphology refers to the size, shape, and structure of sperm cells. It's an important aspect of semen analysis when assessing male fertility. Here's an overview of the tests and results related to sperm morphology:


  1. Semen Analysis (Sperm Morphology): This test involves examining a sample of semen under a microscope to assess the morphology of sperm. The technician evaluates the shape and structure of sperm cells, looking for abnormalities such as misshapen heads, tails, or midsections.

  2. Kruger Strict Criteria: This is a more detailed analysis of sperm morphology that adheres to strict criteria for determining normal and abnormal sperm morphology. It's often used when standard semen analysis reveals abnormalities or when there are fertility concerns.


Sperm morphology results are typically reported as a percentage of normal-shaped sperm within the sample. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides guidelines for what constitutes normal morphology, typically defining it as sperm with a normal shape and size according to strict criteria.

  • Normal Morphology: A normal result typically indicates that a high percentage (usually above 4%) of sperm in the sample have a normal shape and size. This is associated with good fertility potential.

  • Abnormal Morphology: If a significant portion of sperm in the sample have abnormal shapes or sizes, it may indicate decreased fertility potential. However, it's important to note that abnormalities in morphology alone may not always correlate with infertility, and other factors such as sperm count and motility also play crucial roles.

  • Teratozoospermia: This term is used to describe a condition where there is a high percentage of abnormal sperm morphology in the semen sample. It may indicate reduced fertility, although fertility can still be achieved depending on other factors such as sperm count and motility.


  • Normal Morphology: Higher percentages of normal morphology are associated with better fertility potential.

  • Low Normal Morphology: Even if the morphology is within the normal range, but on the lower end, it may still affect fertility and might warrant further investigation or consultation with a fertility specialist.

  • Abnormal Morphology: While abnormal morphology may reduce fertility, it doesn't necessarily mean infertility. Factors such as sperm count and motility also influence fertility outcomes.

It's essential to interpret sperm morphology results in conjunction with other parameters such as sperm count, motility, and overall health and fertility history to get a comprehensive understanding of male fertility potential. If there are concerns about fertility, consulting a healthcare professional or fertility specialist is recommended for further evaluation and guidance

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