Sperm morphology- sperm shape

Sperm morphology is a part of semen analysis test and evaluates the shape and size of the sperm cells. Semen analysis is a type of laboratory test that is done to evaluate the features and characteristics of semen and sperm cells. Semen analysis test evaluates the listed topics;

  • Semen volume
  • Semen pH
  • Sperm concentration
  • Total sperm count
  • Semen liquefaction time
  • Sperm motility- sperm movement ability
  • Sperm morphology; sperm shape and size
  • Semen appearance
  • Semen WBC count
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Sperm morphology and sperm cell parts

  • A sperm cells is the male reproductive cell and formed of 4 parts as head, neck, midpiece and tail.
  • A normal sperm cell is 5-6 micrometers long and 2-3 micrometers wide.
  • Sperm cell head is about 1/10 of the sperm cell, includes lytic enzymes to provide penetration to the female egg. Sperm head carries 23 chromosomes and transmits hereditary characteristics from male.
  • Sperm midpiece includes mitochondria and provides energy for movement and survival of sperm cells in vagina.
  • Sperm tail provides movement ability to sperm cell by swimming whip like or zig-zag.
  • Sperm cells moves 3 mm per hour by swimming in semen fluid to reach the egg.
  • Sperm morphology affects fertility because sperm cell should have a healthy and proper shape to reach and fertilize the egg.
  • Sperm morphlogy is one of the factors in fertility like sperm count, sperm motility and semen liquefaction time.
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Normal sperm morphology

sperm shape

Every male may have abnormal shaped sperm cells in their semen sample. There are different evaluation methods of normal sperm morphology. In common 4-14 % of normal shaped sperm cells are accepted as normal sperm morphology for fertilization.