Teratozoospermia: Causes, Treatment, and Hope for Male Infertility

what is teratozoospermia

For those wondering, it’s not a new spider species. It’s a condition where the sperm’s shape or morphology is not how it should be. Change in the sperm shape can lead to unsuccessful pregnancy and be termed male infertility. Why does it happen? What causes it? We’ll cover all of this today.

Teratozoospermia Meaning:

It’s a medical term used by doctors to describe sperm that are not shaped as they are supposed to be. Typically, the sperm has an oval head with a long tail. But in this condition, the sperm are shaped differently. They might have a big or a small head, two tails, or some other abnormality.

Also Read: Asthenozoospermia (Low Sperm Motility): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Causes of teratozoospermia:

There can be several reasons for men suffering from teratozoospermia. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Genetic: Sometimes, it’s genetic. It could have happened to any of your family members or ancestors whose DNA got passed on to you and caused teratozoospermia. Conditions like chromosomal abnormalities or gene mutations can lead to such conditions. 
  • Environmental Factors: Your surroundings can also impact male sperm quality, leading to Teratozoospermia. Toxins around you, like pesticides, lead, herbicides, heavy metals, or radiation, can be the main cause of infertility.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: Imbalance in hormones like testosterone, FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), or LH (luteinizing hormone) can cause teratozoospermia. Many people who take testosterone boosters, steroids, or certain industrial foods can cause such an imbalance.
  • Varicocele: This happens when the veins in the scrotum increase in size and cause swelling. This increases the scrotal temperature and damages sperms, reducing their quantity and quality. 
  • Infections: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) or other infections like Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), Orchitis, Epididymitis, and Prostatitis can change the sperm’s morphology and cause male infertility.
  • Lifestyle factors: Habits like smoking, excessive drinking, drug use (both artificial & recreational), and obesity can cause damage to the shape of the sperm. 
  • On-going medication side-effects: Chemotherapy drugs and anabolic steroids can change the sperm’s morphology.
teratozoospermia treatment

Also Read: Oligospermia: Causes, Symptoms, and Solution

How does Teratozoospermia affect Male Fertility?

The impact levels of Teratozoospermia highly depend on the degree of abnormality in the sperm shape. Teratozoospermia can have both mild and severe effects on sperm quality. Severe conditions of Teratozoospermia can lead to: 

  • Compromised Sperm Motility: For the sperm to travel and get selected by the egg, it needs to have a proper shape and size. If it’s deformed, it may be difficult to swim to the egg, reducing the chances of pregnancy. 
  • Higher chances of miscarriages: Even if the sperm reaches the egg and somehow can merge with it, chances of a healthy embryo development will be very sleek and increase the risk of miscarriage. 
  • Reduced chances of achieving pregnancy: Men who suffer from Teratozoospermia find it difficult to achieve natural conception. Couples who go through this have to try alternative methods like IUI or IVF. 

It is important to understand that infertility isn’t just a woman’s issue. Men also suffer from infertility and play an equal part in it.

Also Read: Hypospermia – A Comprehensive Guide by Experts

Astheno Teratozoospermia Meaning

Sometimes, Teratozoospermia comes with another condition called Astheno Teratozoospermia. This means that not only do the sperms have abnormalities in shape or size, but they’re also unable to move or swim well to reach the egg. This doubles up as a challenge, and couples find it difficult to conceive.

Treatment for Teratozoospermia:

Men who suffer from Teratozoospermia suffer emotionally. Not being able to experience pregnancy puts a lot of psychological stress on men. Then, societal judgment also does not let men rest and accept that they have a problem. The fear of “Not Being Man Enough,” which the society makes them feel, cripples their marriages. 

However, the good news is that with teratozoospermia, treatments available can help men immensely. 

  • Lifestyle Changes: Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and eating a balanced and rich diet can help immensely. 
  • Medical Assistance: Medications prescribed by doctors or surgeries can help with infections or varicocele.
  • Assisted Reproductive Techniques: In case of natural conception does not happen due to Teratozoospermia, alternative methods or treatments like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are the way to go. 

The probability of successful pregnancy is very low in situations where the men are suffering from Teratozoospermia. However, in some cases, couples have been able to conceive naturally. For the ones who are unable to conceive naturally, medical assistance like IVF can be a boon.

Also Read: What is Azoospermia? Zero Sperm Count

Teratozoospermia Pregnancy Rate:

For the ones who got diagnosed with Teratozoospermia, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not like everything is finished. Yes, there are indeed emotional and mental pressures present for various external reasons, but ignorance can always be won through the power of knowledge and making the right decision. 

If you, your partner, or both have fertility issues, then the first point of contact should be with a doctor. Take help from support groups and healthcare professionals who have the right knowledge to guide you through such difficult times.

Also Read: What is Hyperspermia: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Understanding teratozoospermia and its effects will help you deal with it better. While there is a chance that natural conception might not be in your cards, there are other ways you can achieve pregnancy. So, it’s better to be patient and find the right course of action through regular guidance from experts.


Crysta IVF Center in Pune is the best fertility clinic where we understand the intricacies of men suffering from Teratozoospermia. We get the emotional and mental strain couples suffer due to this. Therefore, we have the best doctors who guide you in the best way so that you can achieve your dream of having a child. We work with couples, understand their situation, give them the best possible way to overcome the challenges, and help them achieve their dream.

  Verified by Crysta IVF Fertility Experts

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Milan Mahapatra

Milan is an enthusiastic content strategist and storyteller with attention to detail. As a Lead Content Writer for Crysta IVF, he creates engaging stories that enlighten and motivate patients as they prepare for fatherhood. Having a thorough awareness of the fertility environment, Milan uses his writing abilities to empower and inform those considering treatment. He is committed to providing factual, engaging, and interesting content that speaks to the audience of Crysta IVF.

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