Update from AUA 2014, Orlando Florida:
Overall, the American Urological Association Annual Meeting had a number of interesting male infertility/men’s health abstracts. One that stood out provides hope for men with abnormally shaped sperm. These couples may be able to avoid IVF and instead be successful with natural conception or with intrauterine insemination. As always, additional larger studies will be needed to confirm these findings.
Often men with abnormal morphology of sperm (<4% normal forms called teratozoospermia) proceed to in vitro fertilization (IVF) without attempting other less involved techniques first. This abstract from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas investigated the success rates of natural conception and IUI in men with severe teratozoospermia (<1% normal forms). 67 couples with severe teratozoospermia were studied, and 31 (46%) of the couples achieved pregnancy. Of these couples, 21 (68%) achieved pregnancy without IVF (51% had natural conception and 16% needed IUI). Even men with 0% normal forms 41% achieved a pregnancy, and of these men 29% did not require IVF. Overall, men with severe teratoozoospermia may consider alternative techniques before IVF when maternal age is not an issue since nearly 1/3 (31%) of them can conceive without IVF.