Male Fertility: Size Does Matter When it Comes to Sperm
By Hannah Osborne | November 15, 2012 3:22 AM EST
The age old question of does size matter appears to have been answered - yes - but only when discussing sperm.
Researchers at Brown University, in Rhode Island, have found sperm that is inconsistent in length is not as good as swimming as sperm that is the same size.
The study found that the greater the inconsistency in length - particularly the tail - the lower the concentration of sperm that can swim well.
This research offers an insight into a potential new marker in men's fertility problems.
Jim Mossman, lead author the study, said: "Our study reveals that men who produce higher concentrations of competent swimming sperm also demonstrate less variation in the size and shape of those sperm.
"It suggests that in some cases, testes are working more optimally to produce high numbers of consistently manufactured sperm, and vice versa."
The World Health Organisation considers characteristics of sperm, such as concentration and mortality, as important markers of fertility.
It is estimated that 3.5 million people in the UK have trouble conceiving, accounting for around one in six couples.
Up to one in five young men find they have a low sperm count; which is defined as fewer than 20 million sperm per millilitre of semen.
Mossman said: "The WHO suggests that measurements should be made on multiple components of sperm, but generally it's only the sperm head that is considered.
"No one's ever looked at this before across sperm components. What we show is that measurements on other sperm parts, such as the flagellum that propels the sperm, can provide additional information about the quality and consistency of sperm manufacture."
According to Mossman, this research could provide clinicians a new insight into the diagnosis and treatment of male fertility problems. "This could be an indirect marker of testis function," he said.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- Japanese Whalers End Pacific Hunt with 115 Whales Dead and No Disruption from Sea Shepherd
- Viral Video Cyring Sadie: 5-Year-Old Little Girl Does Not Want Her Baby Brother to Grow Up [WATCH VIDEO]
- New Zealand Drafts IWC Resolution to Stop Japanese Whalers from Hunting in 2015
- 'Watch the MH17 Plane Missile Hit Video Tape in Mobile' Goes Viral on Facebook
- Pacific Islands Forum Delegates Appeal for Changes to Climate Policies, Better Marine Life Protection
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date