Antisperm Antibody Test
An antisperm antibody test looks for special proteins (Reference antibodies Opens New Window) that fight against a man's sperm in blood, vaginal fluids, or semen. The test uses a sample of sperm and adds a substance that binds only to affected sperm.
Semen can cause an Reference immune system Opens New Window response in either the man's or woman's body. The antibodies can damage or kill sperm. If a high number of sperm antibodies come into contact with a man's sperm, it may be hard for the sperm to fertilize an egg. The couple has a hard time becoming pregnant. This is called immunologic infertility.
A man can make sperm antibodies when his sperm come into contact with his immune system. This can happen when the Reference testicles Opens New Window are injured or after surgeries (such as a Reference biopsy Opens New Window or Reference vasectomy Opens New Window) or after a Reference prostate gland Opens New Window infection. The testicles normally keep the sperm away from the rest of the body and the immune system.
A woman can have an Reference allergic reaction Opens New Window to her partner's semen and make sperm antibodies. This kind of immune response is not fully understood but may affect fertility. This is a rare cause of Reference infertility Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology