The “Ideal” Sperm for IVF

Researchers in Alabama are taking a closer look at sperm as they continue to strive towards more effective infertility treatments.

As it currently stands, most reproductive endocrinologists are only able to look at sperm for core factors- things like the amount of sperm present and the speed at which they swim. But this research would allow doctors to learn more about sperm. Things like genetic makeup, shape, and size of the sperm would be able to be observed and then mathematically considered through the use of phase-contrast imaging.

The hope is that, once the imaging has been completed, doctors will be able to make a more precise diagnosis as to what is going wrong, what lifestyle changes could help to correct the problem, and ultimately, which infertility treatments are most likely to end in a successful pregnancy.

“The long-term impact could lead to a better use of resources for treatments such as IVF and hopefully improved success rates. We would be able to give people the right kind of advice on lifestyle choices, so for example if smoking is damaging sperm quality we can identify that and advise the patient accordingly,” said project lead Dr. Dave Smith.

The study was conducted in 2017 by The University of Birmingham. As of publication there was no word on when this new phase contrast imaging may be available as treatment option.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.