mmunobead Test

Fertility tests can help fertility specialists diagnose the cause of infertility. One such test is immunobead testing; an immunobead test (IBT) is helpful in cases in which sperm allergies in either the male or female partner is hindering a couple’s chances of getting pregnant.

What is an Immunobead Test?

An immunobead test is a common type of fertility test that assesses the presence of antisperm antibodies.

Antibodies develop in the body when the immune system recognizes sperm as foreign; as such, antisperm antibodies interfere with the normal functioning of the reproductive system, thereby impeding conception.

The production of antisperm antibodies can occur in either women or men. In women, antibodies limit sperm movement as they attempt to pass through the cervical mucous in order to reach the egg while in men, antibodies that develop on the sperm’s tail inhibit the sperm’s entry through the cervical mucous.

Some common causes of antisperm antibodies in men include infection, testicular cancer, testicular biopsy or undescended testes in men; the causes of the production of antisperm antibodies in women are unknown.

How is Immunobead Testing Performed?

In order to locate the antibodies, blood is drawn from the woman and then incubated with a semen sample.

The combined sperm and blood sample is then analyzed using a microscope in the laboratory.

Why is an Immunobead Test Performed?

An IBT is beneficial in the identification of different types of antisperm antibodies in a variety of biological samples, such as blood, sperm cells as well as cervical mucous.

As such, an immunobead test can help to assess whether antibodies are present, the severity of antibodies and what part of the sperm they affect. This is essential in helping to determine the cause of infertility in couples having difficulty getting pregnant. For example, in a blood sample, an IBT can help to determine whether the antibodies originate from the blood circulation or from around the reproductive organs.

In addition, an immunobead test can function as a preparatory step for methods of assisted reproduction. In fact, an IBT can be a preliminary step for intrauterine insemination (IUI) with washed sperm or for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), because the sperm and egg are fertilized outside of the body.

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