Asthenozoospermia: analysis of a large population

Arch Androl. Sep-Oct 2003;49(5):343-9. doi: 10.1080/01485010390219656.


Spermatozoa travel a long distance to meet and fertilize the oocyte, so sperm motility is a requisite for normal fertilization. Asthenozoospermia, or low sperm motility, is a common cause of human male infertility. This is a retrospective study (1992-1999) to document the prevalence of this pathology in infertile men and to clarify the probable factors associated to its etiology. The prevalence was 18.71% for asthenozoospermia and 63.13% for asthenozoospermia associated with oligo- and/or teratozoo-spermia; thus, 81.84% of the studied samples had altered motility. Leukocytospermia, the ratio of germ cells/sperm, anti-sperm antibodies, consistency, biochemical markers of accessory sex glands, and sperm response after swim-up were studied in normospermic (N), asthenozoospermic (A), and combined asthenozoospermic (C) samples. No significant difference was found in the frequency of leukocytospermia among groups. The rate of germ cells/(spermatozoa + germ cells) between C and N (p < .01) and C and A (p < .01) was statistically different, while no difference was found on comparing N and A. MAR-test over 40% was found in 6% of the A samples and 7.6% of the C, while no positive values were observed in the N group. The percentage of hyperviscous samples was higher in the low sperm motility samples than in the normal group. Data on concentration of the biochemical markers seem to be decreased in asthenozoospermia. Pure and combined asthenozoo-spermia showed different behavior in sperm recovery after swim-up. Two different asthenozoospermias could be defined: the pure one where sperm environment is involved (immunological factor, hyperviscosity, and secretory gland function) and the combined, where the testis is comprised.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Argentina / epidemiology
  • Citric Acid / analysis
  • Fructose / analysis
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytosis / complications
  • Leukocytosis / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Oligospermia* / epidemiology
  • Oligospermia* / etiology
  • Oligospermia* / physiopathology
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semen / chemistry
  • Sperm Maturation / physiology*
  • Sperm Motility / physiology*
  • Spermatozoa / immunology
  • Spermatozoa / pathology*


  • Antibodies
  • Citric Acid
  • Fructose
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • prostatic acid phosphatase
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases