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Interpretive Handbook

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Test 89882 :
Sperm Antibody, Direct, Semen

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Sperm antibodies are associated with some cases of infertility. For fertilization to occur, the sperm head must first attach to the zona pellucida of the egg. Sperm antibodies interfere with this binding. While there is consensus that these antibodies play a role in infertility, the percentage of sperm that must be bound by antibodies before fertility is adversely affected is less clear.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

As the preferred test and specimen type (semen) for males suspected of sperm antibodies, this test is indicated in the investigation of male infertility:

-As a follow-up test when sperm agglutination is noted in the ejaculate

-In men with a history of testicular trauma, biopsy, vasectomy reversal, genital tract infection, or obstructive lesions of the reproductive ductal system

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Results are reported as:

-Percentage of sperm with positive binding

-Class of antibody involved (IgG and IgA)

-Site of binding (head, midpiece, tail, and/or tail tip)


Greater than 50% binding is usually required to significantly lower a patient's fertility.


The significance of the percentage binding is inversely related to the patient’s sperm count.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Sperm antibody testing is not recommended for routine infertility testing.


In cases where specimen production presents difficulties, a serum specimen can be tested (see SSA / Sperm Antibody, Indirect, Serum).

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

<50% total binding

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Bronson R, Cooper G, Rosenfeld D: Sperm antibodies: their role in infertility. Fertil Steril 1984;42:171-183

2. Marshburn PB, Kutteh WH: The role of antisperm antibodies in infertility. Fertil Steril 1994;61:799-811