Improving intrauterine insemination pregnancy outcomes by enhancing sperm motility with platelet activating factor

Keywords:

Sperm, platelet activating factor, sperm wash, intrauterine insemination, pregnancy

W. E. ROUDEBUSH

Department of Biology, Charleston Southern University, Charleston, South Carolina, 29406 USA.

Correspondence at: wer60@yahoo.com

Abstract

Ten to 15% of reproductive age couples in the United States are not able to achieve a successful pregnancy and are considered infertile. Infertility affects men and women equally. Male fertility requires the production of an adequate number of morphologically normal spermatozoa with sufficient motility and the ability to undergo hyperactivation, capacitation, and the acrosome reaction in order to penetrate the oocyte’s cumulus oophorus and bind to the zona pellucida for fertilization. Defects in any of these necessary events will lead to infertility. A number of endogenous factors are implicated in the regulation of spermatozoan fertility potential, including platelet-activating factor (PAF). PAF clearly plays a significant role in reproductive physiology. It influences ovulation, fertilization, preimplantation embryo development, implantation, and parturition. Exogenous PAF has been used to promote sperm motility, sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction. Finally, the addition of PAF to sperm wash for use in an intrauterine insemination program results in significantly higher pregnancy rates.