Evaluation of sperm morphology of electroejaculates of spinal cord-injured men by strict criteria

Fertil Steril. 1995 May;63(5):1125-7. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)57561-x.


Objective: To compare sperm morphology of electrostimulated ejaculates of spinal cord-injured (SCI) men with that of manual ejaculates of an able-bodied population.

Design: Retrospective study.

Patients: Spinal cord-injured men (n = 21) participating in a reproductive rehabilitation program and able-bodied men (n = 163) attending a male fertility clinic.

Setting: Male fertility clinic of a university urology practice.

Main outcome measures: Morphological characteristics of sperm evaluated by strict criteria.

Results: Electroejaculates of SCI men had significantly higher percentages of small sperm heads, vacuolated sperm heads, and sperm with tail defects than found in manual ejaculates of able-bodied men. Cellular elements of nongerminal origin (white blood cells, red blood cells, epithelial cells) were also more likely to be present in electroejaculates.

Conclusion: When evaluated by strict criteria, electroejaculates exhibit specific defects in sperm morphological profile. A pervasive pattern of teratozoospermia exists that may reflect underlying defects contributing to decreased fertility in SCI men.

MeSH terms

  • Ejaculation
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sperm Tail / pathology
  • Spermatozoa / abnormalities*
  • Spermatozoa / ultrastructure
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology*
  • Vacuoles / pathology