This is when the sperm is poor quality. This affects 25% of couples. Either the count, the percentage swimming well (motility) or the number that look normal (morphology) are low. Sometimes all three are low. Occasionally a man may have no sperm in the ejaculate, this is called azoospermia.

In men with PCD the sperm may have poor motility and this reduces the chance of conceiving naturally. This can be overcome with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The female partner is given drugs to make her produce lots of eggs. These are collected by a simple surgical procedure. A single good quality moving sperm is injected into each egg (ICSI) allowing fertilization to create embryos that can be replaced in the womb.

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A drawing of a single sperm being injected into an egg (ICSI).

In azoospermia a surgical procedure can be performed and sperm can be successfully extracted from the testis in >50 %. Alternatively donor sperm may be used.