Sperm tail flexibility test: a simple test for selecting viable spermatozoa for intracytoplasmic sperm injection from semen samples without motile spermatozoa

Teste de flexibilidade da cauda do espermatozóide: um teste simples para seleção de espermatozóides viáveis para injeção intracitoplasmática de espermatozóide a partir de amostras de sêmen sem espermatozóides móveis

PURPOSE: The objective was to describe the results of the injection of immotile spermatozoa with flexible tails when only immotile spermatozoa are present in the semen sample. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted to analyze the procedure results for 10 couples who participated in our intracytoplasmic sperm injection program. The sperm tail was considered flexible when it moved up and down independently of the head movement, and it was considered inflexible when the movement occurred together (tail plus head). The fertilization and pregnancy rate were analyzed. RESULTS: The normal fertilization rate (presence of 2 pronuclei) was 30.3% (40/132), and the abnormal fertilization rate (presence of less than or more than 2 pronuclei) was 6.81% (9/132). A total of 52 embryos were obtained with 9 transfer procedures performed (pregnancy rate: 11.12%). CONCLUSIONS: The sperm tail flexibility test (STFT) is an easy and cost-effective way for selecting viable immotile spermatozoa and can be used as an alternative method for determining the viability of spermatozoa. This test seems to be a simple and risk-free method when compared to the swelling test.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection; Sperm; Flexible tail; Immotile sperm; Swelling test


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