Antisperm antibodies occur when the body becomes sensitized to sperm. This causes an immune system response that destroys the sperm. There are two main types of anti-sperm antibodies that can prevent sperm cells from doing their job they are anti-sperm agglutinating antibodies, and anti-sperm immobilizing Antibodies. When a couple has difficulty getting pregnant due to anti-sperm antibodies, it is known as immunologic infertility. An anti-sperm antibody test looks for special proteins (antibodies) that fight against a man's sperm in blood, vaginal fluids, or semen. The higher the level of antibody-affected sperm found in the semen, the lower the chance of the sperm fertilizing an egg.
The patient should talk to the doctor about any concern he/she has regarding the need for the test. The patient will be provided with adequate information pertaining to the tests regarding how a blood sample is taken from a vein in the arm in case the patient is a woman. In case of a male patient, information will be provided pertaining to how a semen sample is collected after the blood and vaginal fluid samples are taken. The male patient must not release his sperm for 2 days before the test, It is important to not go longer than 5 days before the test without ejaculating because it could affect the results of the test.
The health professional taking a sample of a woman patient's blood will:
-Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood.
-Clean the needle site with alcohol.
-Put the needle into the vein.
-Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
-Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
-Put a gauze pad as the needle is removed.
Semen collection of a male patient will be done as follows:
A semen sample is collected by masturbation.
The patient should urinate and then wash and rinse your hands and penis before collecting the semen in a sterile cup.