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Title: Sperm function in patients with unexplained infertility
Author: Templeton, A. A.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1981
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Infertility of unexplained aetiology is a clinical and scientific problem. The aim of these studies was to characterise patients with unexplained infertility and to develop clinical tests of sperm function for their further investigation. The relevant literature has been reviewed in each section. The characteristics and sexual history of such patients, who formed 24 per cent of the total clinic population, did not differ from other infertile groups. Their prognosis was estimated using the Life Table method. Sperm migration to the site of fertilization was assessed by laparoscopic recovery of spermatozoa from the peritoneal fluid and fimbrial rinsings. The finding of spermatozoa at these sites carried a favourable prognosis for the individual couple. Failure of sperm migration occurred in half the patients and could not be predicted from routine semen analysis or examination of the post-coital cervical mucus. In the same patients, sperm fertilizing capacity was assessed using the zona-free hamster egg in vitro system. In one third of the group there was evidence of deficient sperm fertilizing ability. The two tests of sperm function were closely related to each other but not to any conventional semen parameter or post-capacitation sperm behaviour. Thus among patients with unexplained infertility there is a subgroup; whose spermatozoa possess defects which affect both transport and fertilizing capacity. The fact that this deficiency was recognised using an in vitro system suggests that the female tract may play a less important role in the inhibition of sperm transport than was previously thought. These studies, which underline the importance of a functional approach to the investigation of infertility, have certain therapeutic implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available