M. Allgeyer, N. Kirschenhofer, U. Mann
Jun 1, 2006
Fertilization failure following standard in vitro fertilization in couples with normozoospermic men is an as yet unexplained phenomenon. A wide range of gametic disorders as well as environmental factors might contribute to this pathologic condition. One crucial condition appears to be the inability of the spermatozoa to undergo the acrosome reaction (AR). A discriminative test to distinguish fertile from non‐fertile spermatozoa would be of utmost interest. In a prospective study, semen samples from men with normal semen parameters and fertilization failure were compared with semen samples from men with normal semen parameters and normal fertilization as to their capacity to undergo the AR. AR was induced using calcium ionophore as well as the physiologic stimuli progesterone and prostaglandin E1. Discriminance analyses were undertaken to help identify patients with probable fertilization failure. Our data show that in patients with fertilization failure, the capacity of spermatozoa to undergo induced AR is greatly reduced using both unphysiologic and physiologic stimuli. However, physiologic stimuli are more suitable to identify patients with fertilization failure. Using physiologic stimuli, a formula was established to identify patients likely to fail at fertilization.