Saturday, December 18, 2021

The semen analysis scam - why sperm test reports are unreliable

Despite the fact that a semen analysis is a simple , routine and affordable test, it is frequently performed incorrectly.

This is especially true when the test is performed in a local lab by an untrained technician who does not know how to correctly perform the sperm test. Because there is no quality control, he either uses antiquated equipment or takes shortcuts.

The true tragedy, however, is that semen analysis reporting in IVF labs is also notoriously unreliable and untrustworthy.

Most corporate IVF chains' labs appear to be incentivised these days to maximise the number of patients who seek treatment at the IVF clinic, rather than to give accurate and credible data! The semen analysis result is used to persuade patients to undergo IVF treatment, even if they don't require it!

The most prevalent deception is when an IVF lab declares most sperm samples to have teratozoospermia without properly inspecting sperm morphology. Because the sperm must be immobilised and stained, and the technician must examine at least 100 sperm before making this diagnosis, checking the form of sperm is a time-consuming and costly procedure.

The most typical shortcut (which many IVF facilities instruct the technician to use) is to register every sample as having teratozoospermia and state that there are less than 4% normal forms, with no evidence ( the images of the stained slide). This means that an IVF clinic lab can report whatever they want because there is no way of knowing whether they did the test correctly!

Unfortunately, due to a lack of quality control and regulation, the diagnosis of male factor infertility due to teratozoospermia is becoming epidemic. Many individuals are misdiagnosed with male factor infertility and told they need to start an IVF treatment cycle, while the truth is that it's just a faulty lab report.

Unfortunately, patients believe that because the report is generated by a specialised IVF lab, it must be accurate, and they are unaware that they are being duped.

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