[Frontiers in Bioscience 1, e65-71, August 1,1996]
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CAVEAT LECTOR



METHODS FOR ENHANCEMENT OF SPERM FUNCTION

Brijinder S. Minhas1 and Barry A. Ripps2

1 Assisted Reprodutive Technology, The Center for Human Reproduction, 750 North Orleans, Chicago, IL 60610

2 Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Pensacola, FL 32503

2. INTRODUCTION

Infertility is a prevalent condition with significant societal and psychological impact. Thirty percent of couples seeking assistance for infertility are unable to conceive solely due to male related problems. Impaired sperm performance in conjunction with other female factors is noted in an additional twenty percent of infertile patients. Recent studies have documented a trend in declining semen quality world-wide(1-3). The potential for impaired function within the male complement is vast and reflected in the prevalence of male infertility.

Normal male fertility requires completion of a daunting sequence of elaborate processes including spermatogenesis, sperm transport, accessory gland function along with timely sperm deposition through adequate coitus. Sperm-oocyte interaction poses an additional set of impediments to successful reproduction but is a juncture most amenable to treatment with in vitro techniques. Invasive and non-invasive techniques to achieve fertilization are now routinely used in assisted reproduction programs. This article will address clinical application and basic research efforts in the pursuit of improving sperm function within assisted reproduction.

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