The entire process of artificial insemination stands to suffer significant modifications, after a new study has pointed out that not all sperm is actually useful to the process of fertilization. This revolutionary research revealed that ejaculation comes in two very different fractions that have very different composition and characteristics.
This study was conducted by Ginemed Assisted Human Reproduction Clinic and they have tested out their two-fraction theory on samples collected from 40 men who participated in the research process.
The entire process of ejaculation entail three fractions in total: the pre-ejaculatory fractions and then the two different ejaculation fractions.
The pre-ejaculatory fluid is a clear liquid that does not contain sperm. It is meant to lubricate the urethra and clear away any mechanical obstruction that might cause damage to the sperm.
It protects the sperm from the destructive effect of urine, that has an acid composition that might harm the sperm when it comes in contact with it.
Then comes the first fraction of the ejaculation, that has proven to be the richest in sperm cells, despite the fact that it is lower in volume than the second fraction.
The first fraction represents 15 to 45 % of the entire volume of sperm and contains a high concentration of sperms. Furthermore, the study revealed that these particular sperm cells present less DNA fragmentation and are therefore much more valuable to the process of fertilization.
The second fraction of sperm contains sperm cells as well, but in far lower numbers. It represents 70 up to even 90% of the total volume of sperm, but it greatly differs in composition when compared to the first.
The main role of the second fraction has been revealed to be that of ensuring that that sperm from other males is destroyed. This is why it actually contains certain compounds that are extremely harmful to sperm.
Therefore, when sperm is collected into one common sample that contains both fractions, the results might actually be much less effective because these two separate ejaculation fractions interact.
The situation is rather different when the ejaculation takes place inside the female genital tract, because in this case, the sperms from the fist fraction basically get a jump start towards the egg. This is actually why they have much higher mobility.
“Ejaculate has always been considered as a whole,” explained Dr. María Hebles, the author of this study and Ginemed Assisted Human Reproduction Clinic representative. “The sperm from the first fraction of ejaculate were faster moving and the count was higher”.
Furthermore, since the sperm cells from the first fraction show much higher DNA integrity. This is precisely why collecting the sperm samples destined to be used for artificial insemination in two separate containers would improve the quality of the sperm considerably.
Having the first fraction separate from the second could lead to stronger and more viable sperm samples, that would have a much higher chance of succeeding in the fertilization process.
Hopefully, in the future all the fertility clinics will employ a standardized method that will separate the two fractions of the ejaculate and that will only use sperm cells from the first fraction in for insemination.
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