Abnormal sperm morphology is highly predictive of pregnancy outcome during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and intrauterine insemination

Steven R. Lindheim, David H. Barad, Michael Zinger, Barry Witt, Hussein Amin, Brian Cohen, Harry Fisch, Patricia Barg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the predictive value of a modified form of Kruger's strict criteria for sperm morphology for pregnancy outcomes after intrauterine insemination (IUI) and controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) in the presence of normal sperm concentration and motility. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of 42 couples undergoing COH/IUI was stratified by favorable or unfavorable sperm morphology. End points were pregnancy or failure of treatment as defined by four or more cycles of COH/IUI without pregnancy. Results: An unfavorable morphology (<4%) was highly predictive of failure during COH-IUI (94.45%; 17/18). A normal PIF was a sensitive indicator of those patients who became pregnant (93.8%; 15/16) and had a fair specificity for failure to achieve pregnancy after four cycles of treatment (65.4%; 17/26). Couples with a favorable sperm morphology were 28.3 times as likely to achieve a pregnancy within four cycles of treatment as those with unfavorable sperm morphology [95% confidence limits, 3.2 to 250.5; P < 0.001]. Conclusions: Abnormal strict morphologic assessment is both sensitive and specific for pregnancy outcomes in couples undergoing COH/IUI. Couples with persistently unfavorable sperm morphology should be counseled appropriately and would be better served by more aggressive treatment with in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-572
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996



  • in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer
  • intrauterine insemination
  • percentage of ideal forms (PIF)
  • predictive value
  • sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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