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What is Necrospermia?

When semen has less of mature normal sperms & more of dead sperms this condition is abnormal. When ever there is less of normal sperm then chances of spontaneous pregnancy decreases (i.e. difficulty in conceiving i.e. wife does not becomes pregnant). This is one of the common causes of male factor infertility. This is also one of the most common semen abnormalities in men.

 How sperms develop: When boy becomes of 14 years of age then L.H. & F.S.H. hormone secretion from pituitary increases. The rise in these hormones leads to proliferation of sperm forming cells (Germ Cells) in the testis. These germ cells start multiplying under the effect of above-mentioned pituitary  hormones along with assistance of other hormones as testosterones, Growth hormones, Androstenidione, insulin like growth factor-I, Thyroids hormone, paracrine hormone & growth factors. Under the control of above-mentioned hormones germs cells divide & transformed into primary spermatocytes. Then further maturation of primary spermatocytes to spermatids & then finally into mature spermatozoa (i.e. normal sperms) occurs under the control of above-mentioned hormones. After few weeks of progressive maturation inside the testis these sperms become normally motile & develop the capacity to fertilize the ovum. This total sperm cycle from first stage to final stage of normal mature sperms is of three months. Any hindrance in the development of these spermatozoa will lead to dead sperms, less count of sperm & decreased motility, immotile or even dead sperms

Causes of dead sperm: The various causes of dead sperms are as follows:

1) Deficiency of central sperm producing hormones: 

Hypothalamic – pituitary deficiency: Idiopathic GnRH deficiency, Kallman syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome, Hypothalamic deficiency, pituitary hypoplasia, Trauma, post surgical, postiradiation, Tumour (Adenoma, craniopharyngioma, other), Vascular (pituitary infraction, carotid aneurysm), Infiltrative (Sarcoidosis, histiocytosis, hemochromatosis) Autoimmune hypophysitis, Drugs (drug-induced hyperprolactinemia,  steroids use) 

Untreated endocrinopathies, Glucocorticoid excess, Hypopituitarism, Isolated gonadotropin deficiency (non acquired): Pituitary, Hypothalamic, Associated with multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies: Idiopathic pan hypo pituitarism (hypothalamic defects), Pituitary dysgenesis, Space-occupying lesions(craniopharyngioma, Rathke pouch cysts, hypothalamic tumors, pituitary adenomas), , Laurence-Moon-Beidl syndrome Prader-Willi syndrome , Frohlich syndrome, Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism : Klinefelter syndrome,  Noonan syndrome,  Viral orchitis, Cytotxic drugs, Testicular irradiation.

2) Testicular disorders (primary leydig cell dysfunction i.e. Hypoganadism), Chromosomal (Klinefelter syndrome and variants, XX male gonadal dysgenesis), Defects in androgen biosynthesis, Orchitis (mumps, HIV, other viral, ),Myotonia dystrophica, Toxins (alcohol, opiates, fungicides, insecticides, heavy metals, cotton seed oil), Drugs (cytotoxic drugs, ketoconazole, cimetidine, spironolactone)

3) Varicocele:  varicocele is dilatation of scrotal vein in the scrotum that leads to rise in temperature of testis and raise testicular temperature, resulting in less sperm production & death of whatever sperms are produced.

4) Drugs (e.g. spironolactone, ketoconazole, cyclophosphamide, estrogen administration, sulfasalazine) 

5) Autoimmunity i.e. presence of Antisperm antibody. These Antisperm antibodies bind with sperms & either make them less motile, totally immotile or even dead which is called necrospermia. 

6) Undescended testicle (cryptorchidism). Undescended testis is a condition when one or both testicles fail to descend from the abdomen into the lower part of scrotum during fetal development. Undescended testicles can lead to less sperm production. Because the testicles temperature increase due to the higher internal body temperature compared to the temperature in the scrotum, sperm production may be affected.

7) Mosaic Klinefelter's syndrome. In this disorder of the  chromosomes, of the man is abnormal. This causes abnormal development of the testicles, resulting in low sperm production. Testosterone production may be low or normal.

8) Viral Orchits as mumps or other viral infections. 

9) Infections as tuberculosis, sarcoidosis involving testis or surrounding structures as epididymis.

10) Chronic systemic diseases as Liver diseases, Renal failure, Sickle cell disease, Celiac disease 

11) Neurological disease as myotonic dystrophy 

12) Development and structural defects as mild degree of Germinal cell hypo-plasia

13) Partial Androgen resistance 

14) Mycoplasmal infection 

15) Partial Immotile cilia syndrome

16) Partial Spermatogenic arrest due to interruption of the complex process of germ cell  differentiation from spermatid level to the formation of mature spermatozoa results in decreased sperm count i.e. oligospermia. Its diagnosis is made by testicular biopsy. This is found in upto 30% of all cases of dead sperm patients.

17) Heat Exposure to testis: as febrile illness or exposure to hot ambience induces a abnormality in spermatogenesis.

19) Infection – as bacterial epididimo-orchitis, even in prostatis spermatogenic defect have been noted.


20) Hyper-thermia due to cryptorchidism

21) Chromosomal abnormality: has been found in many cases of low sperm count

22) Alcohol use, Cocaine or heavy marijuana use or Tobacco smoking may lower sperm count

23) Anti-sperm antibodies.  In some people there occurs development of some abnormal blood proteins called anti-sperm antibodies, which binds with sperm and make them either immotile or dead or decrease their count.

24) Infections. Infection of uro-genital tract may affect sperm production. Repeated bouts of infections are one of the common causes associated with male infertility.

25) Klinefelter's syndrome. In this disorder of the  chromosomes, a man has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X and one Y. This causes abnormal development of the testicles, resulting in low or absent sperm production. Testosterone production also may be lower.

26) Trauma to testis

27) Environmental toxins: as Pesticides and other chemicals in food  or as ayurvedic medicines.

 28) Genetic Factors: as idiopathic partial hypo-gonadotropic hypogonadism

Diagnosis of Cause of Dead Sperms

For correct diagnosis of cause of more of Dead sperm, we need detail history & physical examinations then certain relevant investigations are required.

History & Physical Examinations: First step in proper treatment is accurate diagnosis of cause of dead sperms. So we first try to find out cause. We take detailed history, thorough drug history and general physical examination, examination of testis, epididymis, testicular veins & sperm carrying duct examinations. These examinations give idea about whether testis is normally developed or not & how is its function. After that depending on likelihood of particular, cause relevant tests are done. All testing facilities are available at our centre. Thus you may consult us at our centre & at same time you may get all tests done. The time taken in getting all the reports ready is 36 hours.

Investigation & Diagnosis: For completes diagnosis of causes of dead sperms one or more of the following tests may be required as

Complete male hormone profile: This profile includes all the male hormone tests which control testicular development, functions including normal sperm Productions. The tests include L.H., F.S.H., Testosterones, prolactins, thyroids test, & other relevant hormone tests depending on history & examinations.

2) Antisperm antibody  

3) USG or Doppler study of scrotum & testis

4) Semen culture sensitivity

5) Semen fructose

6) Immunobead test

7) Sperm Function Tests

8) Human Sperm-Zona Pellucida Binding Ratio

9) Human Sperm-Zona Pellucida Pentration test

10) Genetic Studies

11) FNAC Testis

12) Egg penetration test

13) Molecular genetic studies done in some special cases

14) Chromosome analysis i.e. Karyotype

15) Assessment of androgen receptor

16) Combined Pituitary hormone tests is performed when needed 

17) MRI head if pituitary hormone defect suspected

18) Hemogram test for systemic diseases.

19) Sperm Function Tests

The hamster egg penetration assay (HEPA) and the hemizona assay (HZA) are sperm function tests which can help assess the ability of sperm to penetrate the egg. These tests will not definitively tell whether a pregnancy will occur, but an abnormal test result helps predict reduced fertilizing capability. These tests are performed only rarely today.

20) Semen Fructose

21) Sperm Coiling Test to find out whether the particular sperm is live or dead


Once the cause of low sperm count are found then with in three months of treatment sperm count & motility becomes normal in more than 90% cases.

The various treatments are as follows:

Correction of the Cause: First of all we try to find out the primary cause of infertility by above mentioned investigations. Then we correct the basic defect i.e. correction of hormone disorder & other defects. We also give following treatment for permanent cure of low sperm count & motility disorder.

1) Correction of Hormone deficiencies: Once the hormone disorder is found then it is corrected by any of the below medicines. Usually dead sperms problem is cured in three month time with proper hormone treatment.

2) Gonadotropin Therapy: Gonadotropins are most potent natural stimulators of sperm production in the testis. Once we start gonadotropin therapy, these gonadotropins stimulates the sperm producing cells in testis. Under the stimulating influence of gonadotropins dormant sperm forming cells which were not producing normal sperms, they start dividing & producing normal sperms. Thus in more than 90% cases sperm production can be normalized in three to four months time if it is started in properlyselected cases of low sperm count. Gonadotropin therapy is most successful of all the available treatment for dead sperms till now. In many cases of dead sperms, when all other treatment has failed even in those cases gonadotropin therapy is effective. Thus treatment of dead sperms with gonadotropin therapy results in pregnancy soon.

3) Repronex.

4) Bravelle

5) Ovidrel

6) Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) analogs

7) Growth hormone therapy in many cases where somatotropin deficiency is found.

8) Growth Factor, Mineral & Micronutrient Therapy

9) Free Radial Scavangers: These are drug to reduce the free damaging oxidative radical in the testis. For your information every minute lot of oxidant radicals are generated inside the testis which damages sperm forming cells. These special antioxidant drugs scavange these damaging oxidative free radicals thus leading to production of normal sperms by the testis. In many study these free radical scavengers have been found to be very-very effective in curing dead sperms.

10) Coenzyme ubique: These drugs improve the nutritional status of the testis. Thus testis as well as sperm forming cells get enough nutrient which helps in fast generation of normal sperms in good number with good motility & fertilizing capacity.

11)  Carnititine supplementation increases the production of sperm, with normalization of normal sperms in semen in three months.

12) Fertyl: This drug is taken orally and it causes the pituitary gland to release more FSH and LH, which then stimulates the testis to produce more normal sperms.

 13) Bromocriptine. This medication is for men who have elevated levels of prolactin.

14) Correction of thyroid hormone

15) Correction of congenital adrenal hyperplasia

16)    Vitamins

17)     Zinc

18)     Methy-Predinisolone

19)    Antibiotics

20)    Antiestrogens

21)    Tamoxifen

22)    Clomiphene

23)    Hgh

24)    Antimicrobials

25)    Anti-inflammatory

26)    AIH

27)    ART

28)    Certain Newer Drugs has been found very effective

30) Surgery:  Surgery is also the treatment of choice for significant varicocele. Similarly surgery may be one of the treatment options for many endocrine tumours.

32)  Test tube baby is also delivered with our efforts by use of intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) after separating out live sperms out of dead ones then transfer of embryo to uterus of mother.

33) Semen Bank: Facility for good quality sperm is semen bank in also available. At our center we have facility for all the testing & treatment facility required for low sperm count to achieve pregnancy.

The most common forms of ART include:

a)  In vitro fertilization (IVF). This is the very effective ART technique. IVF involves retrieving mature eggs from a woman, fertilizing them with a man's sperm in a dish in a laboratory and implanting the embryos in the uterus three to five days after fertilization. IVF often is recommended as a first-line therapy. It's also widely used for unexplained infertility, male factor infertility.

b) Electroejaculation. Electric stimulus brings about ejaculation to obtain semen.


c)  Surgical sperm aspiration. This technique involves removing sperm from part of the male reproductive tract such as the epididymis, vas deferens or testicle. This allows retrieval of sperm if blockage is present.

d) Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This technique consists of a microscopic technique (micromanipulation) in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg to achieve fertilization in conjunction with the standard IVF procedure. ICSI has been especially helpful in couples who have previously failed to achieve conception with standard techniques. For men with low sperm concentrations, ICSI dramatically improves the likelihood of fertilization.

34) Varicocele ligation: A varicocele is an abnormal tortuosity and dilation of veins of within the scrotum. It can be surgically treated - which might help fertility in some cases.

Response of treatment: When we start treatment, maturation of spermatocyte to mature spermatozoa start occurring in three to 4 weeks time and achievement of normal sperm count with normal sperms is achieved in three months. Thus cure rate is achieved in more than 95% of patients in three months time.

Side effects: This treatment is harmless because we prescribe well proven drugs which are prescribed in scientific literature. These medicines have to be purchased from medical store by patient himself.


Treatment for Necrospermia by Dr. &  Hakeem Tariq Mehmood Taseer

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Complete Treatment of Necrospermia

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