Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is used to treat infertility. It includes fertility treatments that handle both a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm. It works by removing eggs from a woman’s body. The eggs are then mixed with sperm to make embryos. The embryos are then put back in the woman’s body. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common and effective type of ART.
ART procedures sometimes use donor eggs, donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos. It may also involve a surrogate or gestational carrier. A surrogate is a woman who becomes pregnant with sperm from the male partner of the couple. A gestational carrier becomes pregnant with an egg from the female partner and the sperm from the male partner.
The most common complication of ART is a multiple pregnancy. It can be prevented or minimized by limiting the number of embryos that are put into the woman’s body.
Macrozoospermia is a condition that affects only males. It is characterized by abnormal sperm and leads to an inability to father biological children (infertility).
In affected males, almost all sperm cells have abnormally large and misshapen heads. The head of the sperm cell contains the male’s genetic information that is to be passed on to the next generation. Normally, the head of a sperm cell contains one copy of each chromosome. In men with macrozoospermia, the sperm cell head contains extra chromosomes, usually four copies of each instead of the usual one. This additional genetic material accounts for the larger head size of the sperm cell. Additionally, instead of having one tail (flagellum) per sperm cell, affected sperm have multiple flagella, most often four.
Because of the additional genetic material, if one of these abnormal sperm cells combines with an egg cell, the embryo will not develop or the pregnancy will result in miscarriage.