Pyospermia: background and controversies


VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1, P2-6, MARCH 01, 2021


Danielle Velez, M.D., Samuel Ohlander, M.D., Craig Niederberger, M.D.


Pyospermia (or leukocytospermia) is suspected based on the presence of >1 × 106 round cells/mL of ejaculate and diagnosed using peroxidase stain revealing >1 × 106 white blood cells/mL. The presence of white blood cells is a concern for overt infections or excessive inflammation, both of which have been postulated to negatively impact bulk semen parameters and fertilization capability. The threshold for pyospermia has been debated upon in the literature, as has the optimal treatment method. In the absence of clinical infectious symptoms, it appears that antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, and/or frequent ejaculation may improve bulk semen parameters in men with pyospermia. Further research is needed to adequately assess the effect of these methods on pregnancy and live birth outcomes, especially among couples attempting natural conception compared to those attempting intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization.

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