Conditions associated with teratozoospermia

The term ‘teratozoospermia’ applies to sperm morphology. However, more often than not, this condition is accompanied by the alteration of other semen paramteres. Morever, some diseases may present teratozoospermia or being what induces such morphological abnormalities.

Astheno teratozoospermia

It is characterised by having spermatozoa with abnormal composition and poor motility. The tail is a flagellum responsible for propelling the spermatozoon. Obviously, if the tail is underdeveloped or ill-shaped (the tail being spiral-like) the flagellum cannot its function, so the spermatozoon is not able to “run” or even stands motionless.

Diseases that may produce teratozoospermia

Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT)

Condition that causes male sterility due to the alteration of three semen paramenters:

  • Low concentration or amount of sperm in the ejaculate (hence oligo)
  • Low or zero motility (astheno)
  • Abnormal sperm morphology (terato)

OAT shows great variability, for it is the conjuntion of alterations, each one of them affecting sperm production to a greater or lesser extent. Since there are several factors involved, it seems that OAT is caused either by a genetic alteration or a hormonal imbalance. Both factors are closely connected to spermatogenesis, so these disorders would enatil a subsequent alteration of the sperm’s basic characteristics.


It is the enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord, hindering normal blood flow. Mild varicocele may lead to infertility problems, and it is sometimes associated with the production of malformed sperm.


  1. avatar
    suresh reddi

    Dear Dr Paul,

    To my previous question, Dr. Sandra Madam clarified my OAT problem by suggesting to go for ICSI because of my sperm viability and also suggested to go for sperm FISH. I would like to know the following: does OAT affect blastocyst formation and implantation? Is there any chance of genetical disorder’s acquired by the child? My karyotype is normal (46XY male). Should I go for chromosome microdeletion screening?

    Kindly clarify and help me.

    Best regards,

    Suresh Reddi

    • avatar
      Sandra F.Fertility counselor

      Hello suresh,

      OAT affects a man’s chances of achieving a natural pregnancy, since sperm quality is low, but as I said sperms can be selected through FIV/ICSI and therefore get a natural pregnancy.

      As for the presence of genetic abnormalities, they are not directly linked to OAT, so in principle there shouldn’t be. However, as I said on my previous reply, a FISH test would reveal this. A chromosome microdeletion screening is also advisable to clarify any doubt.

      I hope I have been able to help,

      Best wishes

  2. avatar
    Ankit Khare


    I recently did my semen analysis test in a fertility center and teratozoospermia was reported in my sample as morphology was 3%. My semen culture test was also positive with klebsiella pneumoniae. Is it the reason behind 3% morphology? My other readings:

    Serum testosterone- 3.02ng/dl

    Total sperm count- 200 m/ml, motility- 65%, progressive motility- 40%, morphology normal- 3%, post wash count- 120 m/ml, PW motility- 95%,
    PW Progressive motility- 90%

  3. avatar

    Hello Doctors,

    Today I did a semen test and we received the result, which says TERATOZOOSPERMIA.

    Normal Forms 1%
    Head defects 84%
    Midpiece defects 8%
    Tail defects 7%

    Remaining all are above expectations, please explain me the details and also give me suggestions to get pregnant.

    Thank you

  4. avatar

    We got a semen analysis back today with morphology of 1% using the Kruger scale, it says 30-40 round cells. Motility was 50% and sperm count was in the normal range. From what I’ve read online it seems as though we may be going the IVF/ICSI route. Still waiting to speak to have someone explain the results and would love to hear your thoughts on what you would imagine next steps might be.


    • avatar
      Sandra F.Fertility counselor

      Dear Tania,

      Taking into account his morphology, the count of motile spermatozoa and morphologically normal sperm would be reduced, although motility and concentration would be normal. However, these values are insufficient for an IUI (intrauterine insemination) to be successful. Sperms with an abnormal morphology usually carry structural or genetic problems.

      The steps to follow in your case will depend on other factors detected after a fertility evaluation in both the male and the female. If these tests on the woman are okay, then you will be referred to the most appropriate fertility treatment.

      I hope I have been able to help,


  5. avatar
    ahmed babe

    Hi doctor,

    My brother recently did his semen analysis as follows:

    liquefaction >30
    volume 4ml
    colour normal
    oh 8
    count 51×10*6
    total number of sperm 204 ×10*6
    motility 7%
    progressive 0%
    non progressive 7%
    immotile 93%
    normal form 1%
    abnormal form 99%
    vitality 0%

    I will be grateful for you.

    • avatar
      Andrea A.Assisted Reproduction Specialist

      Dear Ahmed,
      Sperm concentration and volume are completely normal, the problem is that both morphology and motility are altered. In both cases the values that the semen analysis shows are quite low.

      This will make it difficult to get pregnant naturally. The advice in these cases is that, if your brother is trying to conceive, he consult a fertility specialist for advice on which treatment would be appropriate in his case.

      Best wishes.

  6. avatar

    Hi Doctor,

    Below is my Semen Test Result. Require your advise

    Concentration x 10^6/ml:99.0
    Progressive Motility:(a+b)(%):55.0
    Non progressive Motility(c) (%):4.0
    Vitality(%):Not Applicable
    Round Cells(x 10^6/ml) <1.0
    Total no of Sperm:198 x10^6/ejaculate
    Total no of Mobile Sperm:108.9 x 10^6/ejaculate
    Total No of Motile Sperm:Not assessable

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