Counting sperm does not add up any more: time for a new equation?

Linda Lefièvre, Kweku Bedu-Addo, Sarah J Conner, Gisela S M Machado-Oliveira, Yongjian Chen, Jackson C Kirkman-Brown, Masoud A Afnan, Stephen J Publicover, W Christopher L Ford, Christopher L R Barratt (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Although sperm dysfunction is the single most common cause of infertility, we have poor methods of diagnosis and surprisingly no effective treatment (excluding assisted reproductive technology). In this review, we challenge the usefulness of a basic semen analysis and argue that a new paradigm is required immediately. We discuss the use of at-home screening to potentially improve the diagnosis of the male and to streamline the management of the sub-fertile couple. Additionally, we outline the recent progress in the field, for example, in proteomics, which will allow the development of new biomarkers of sperm function. This new knowledge will transform our understanding of the spermatozoon as a machine and is likely to lead to non-ART treatments for men with sperm dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-684
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007


  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male/diagnosis
  • Male
  • Proteomics
  • Sperm Capacitation/physiology
  • Sperm Count
  • Spermatozoa/cytology


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