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Average Sperm Length Gives Insight to Male Factor Infertility

Medical News Today,  Nov 13, 2012

November 13, 2012

A recent study out of Brown University, published in the journal Human Reproduction, says variation in sperm length is an indicator of decreased motility, a male factor infertility condition.

Researchers recruited 103 men randomly from a previously selected sample of 500. They measured the heads, flagella (tails), and body of 30 sperm per participant. They also examined concentration and motility per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Findings suggested that men with greater average flagellum length, flagellum-to-head length ratios, and total length sperm had gametes better capable of swimming, thus reaching an egg for fertilization. Greater inconsistencies of average length meant lower concentration of strong swimming sperm.

Jim Mossman, lead author of the study says: "This could be an indirect marker of testis function.” The results provide insight to the causes of male factor infertility, which accounts for 1/3 of all infertility cases.

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