Effect of sperm washing and swim-up on antibodies bound to sperm membrane: Use of immunobead/sperm cervical mucus contact tests
The direct immunobead test (IBT) and the sperm cervical mucus contact (SCMC) test were used to evaluate the effect of sperm washes and swim-up on antibodies bound to the sperm membrane in 11 patients with autosperm antibodies (30-100% IgA and 30-100% IgG) but otherwise normal semen measurements. The tests were performed on semen samples before and after a wash/swim-up procedure in Ham F10 + 10% human blood serum. Sperm-bound antibodies in washed spermatozoa that were able to swim into a layer of medium did not differ from those in unwashed samples. The IBT and the SCMC test on unwashed and washed spermatozoa were also not significantly different. However, all other washed semen parameters were improved. Correct washing of semen samples is important when performing the IBT to prevent false negative results. Eight of the 11 partners (73%) of the patients tested became pregnant after treatment with washed sperm. The ongoing pregnancy rate was 64%.