What is the MAR Test ?

The MAR test is currently used to detect the presence of Anti Sperm Antibodies or ASA, which plays a crucial role in couples with unexplained infertility.

What is ASA?

Normally, there is a physical barrier between sperm and blood inside the male body, which ensures that the sperm is protected, including from the antibodies in the male body. Under unusual circumstances, such as testicular surgery or accident, the sperm might come in contact with blood and sperm antibodies will be formed.

 

What does it cause?

Once sperm antibodies have formed, they can affect sperm in several different ways. Some antibodies will cause sperm to stick together (agglutination) . Agglutinated sperm clump together and are unable to move easily through the cervix and uterus. Other antibodies will cause Natural killer (NK) cells of the body’s immune system to attack the sperm. Some antibodies might cause reactions between the sperm membrane and the cervical mucus preventing the sperm from swimming through the cervix.  Antibodies can also affect the sperm’s ability to successfully fertilize with the egg. Thus the presence of ASA in the sperm greatly reduces the chances of a pregnancy and a positive MAR test can help to identify the underlying cause of infertility.

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