Antisperm Antibody Test
How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein
in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel
tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick
sting or pinch.
Collecting a semen sample does not
cause any discomfort. If masturbation is against your religious beliefs, talk
with your doctor.
There is very little chance of a
problem from having blood sample taken from a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the site. You
can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several
- In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood
sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used
several times a day to treat this.
- Ongoing bleeding can be a
problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and
other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have
bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell
your doctor before your blood sample is taken.
Usually there are no problems from
collecting a semen sample.
An antisperm antibody test looks for
special proteins (antibodies) that fight against a man's
sperm in blood, vaginal fluids, or semen. The higher the level of
antibody-affected sperm found in the semen, the lower the chance of the sperm
fertilizing an egg.
What Affects the Test
Collecting a semen sample within
48 hours of ejaculating or after not ejaculating for longer than 5 days may
affect the results of this test.
What To Think About
- Experts disagree about the usefulness of the
test because the result may not change the treatment. Most people who have
infertility problems because of sperm antibodies choose
assisted reproductive technology to become pregnant.
- For more information on infertility testing, see the topic
Other Works Consulted
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Fritz MA, Speroff L (2011). Male infertility. In
Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, 8th
ed., pp. 1249–1292. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
||December 7, 2011