The Effects of Swim up Method on Sperm Parameters

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran


Introduction: Approximately, 10-15% of couples suffer from infertility. Various therapeutic approaches have been used to treat infertility; however for those who do not response to treatment using some methods to assist fertility are inevitable. Swim up is one of these methods that enhance the sperm quality. This aim of study was to determine the effects of swim up method on motility, density and morphology of sperms.
Methods and Material: In this experimental-analytical study the semen specimens of 30 individuals with normal parameters (for selection of sperm with better quality) referred to Fateme-Alzahra Infertility Center affiliated to Babol University of Medical Sciences for performing in-vitro fertilization were used. The men with cigarette smoking or addiction excluded. Pre-and post swim-up data including the count, motility, morphology, and grading of sperms were recorded. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 10. Paired t test was used for analysis.
Results: The mean sperm count after swim up (64.1×106) was significantly (p<0.001) lower than before the swim up (87.3×106). Mean sperm motility was 60.3% before swim up and 85.8% after swim up (p<0.001). By using swim up method 2.5% (p=0.083), 12.6% (p<0.001) and 21.6٪ (p=0.003) improvement was seen in sperm grade I , II and III respectively .The mean percentage of sperms with normal morphology before and after the swim-up was 11.2% and 16.3%, respectively (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Preparation of sperms by swim-up method improves the normal sperm morphology, motility, and grading.


1. Matsunoto AM.Pathophysiology of male infertility In: Keye WR, Chang RJ, Rebar
RW, Soules MR.Infertility evaluation and treatment.New York:Saunder;1995:555.
2. Gardner DK, Weissmann A, Howles CM, Shoham Z.Textbook of assisted reproductive
techniques: laboratory and clinical prospective.London:Martiz Dunitz ;2001:62-7.
3. Yao MW, Schut DJ.Infertility In: Berek SJ, Rinehart RD, Adams Hillard PJ.Novak’s
Gynecology.13th ed.Philadelphia:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2002:973-1066.
4. Byrd W.Sperm preparation and homologous insemination.In: Keye WR, Chang RJ,
Rebar RW, Soules MR.Infertility evaluation and treatment.New
5. Martí E, Pérez-Pé R, Muiño-Blanco T, Cebrián-Pérez JA.Comparative study of four
different sperm washing methods using apoptotic markers in ram spermatozoa.J Androl.
6. Boomsma CM, Heineman MJ, Cohlen BJ, Farquhar C.Semen preparation techniques
for intrauterine insemination.Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2007;(4):CD004507.
7. Speroff L, Colass RH, Kkase NG.Clinical gynecology endocrinology and infertility.7th
ed.Philadelphia:Lipncott Williams & Wilking;2005:1135-65 .
8. Lopata A. Patullo MJ, Chang A, James B.A method for collecting motile spermatozoa
from human semen.Fertis steril 1976:(27)677-84.
9. Pardo M, Bancells N.Antificial insemination with husband’s sperm: techniques for
sperm selection.Arch Androl 1989:(22):15-17.
10. World Health Organization Laboratory manual for the examination of human semen
and sperm- cervical mucus interaction.Cambridge:Cambridge University
11. Chen SU, Ho HN, Chen HF, Chao KH, Lin HR, Huang SC, et al.Comparison between a
two-layer discontinuous Percoll gradient and swim-up for sperm preparation on normal
and abnormal semen samples.J Assist Reprod Genet 1995:12(10):698-703.
12. Hammoud AO, Gibson M, Peterson MC, Carrell DT.Effect of sperm preparation
techniques by density gradient on intra-individual variation of sperm motility.Arch
13. Sakkas D, Manicardi GC, Tomlinson M, Mandrioli M, Bizzaro D, Bianchi PG, et
al..The use of two density gradient centrifugation techniques and the swim-up method
to separate spermatozoa with chromatin and nuclear DNA anomalies.Hum Reprod.
14. Dominguez LA, Burgos MH, Fornes MW.Morphometrical comparison of human
spermatozoa obtained from semen and swim up methodology.Andrologia
15. Adiga Sk, Kumar P.Influence of swim-up method on the recovery of spermatozoa from
different types of semen samples.J Assist Reprod Genet 2001:18(3):160-4.
16. Scott RT Jr, Oehninger SC, Menkveld R, Veeck LL, Acosta A.A. critical assessment of
sperm morphology before and after double wash swim-up preparation for in-vitro
fertilization.Arch Androl 1989:23(2):123-9.
17. Jakab A, Kavacs T, Zavaczki Z, Borsos A, Bray- ward P, Ward D, et al.Efficacy of
swim-up method in eliminating sperm with diminished maturity and aneuploidy.Hum
Reprod 2003:18(7):1481-8.
18. Michael M, Peer S, Anderman S, Ballas S, Ellenbogen A.Post swim-up versus original
sperm quality, and strict criteria morphology, its influence on fertilization rate in-vitro
fertilization program: a pilot study.Inte Cong Ser 2004;1271:181-4.
19. Parkash P, Leykin L, Chen Z, Toth T, Sayegh R, Chiff I, Isaacson K.Preparation by
differential gradient centrifugation is better than swim-up in selecting sperm with
normal morphology.Fertil steril 1998:69(4):722-6. 
20. Wu GJ, Ding DC, Chen IG, Huang YC.Less no production and better motion parameter
in human sperm by swim-up processing.Arch Androl 2004;50(5):373-7.
21. Jameel T.Sperm swim-up: a simple and effective technique of semen processing for
intrauterine insemination.J Pak Med Assoc 2008 Feb;58(2):71-4
22. Esteves SC, Sharma RK, Thomas AJ Jr, Agrawal A..Effect of swim up sperm washing
and subsequent capacitating on acrosome status and functional membrane integrity of
normal sperm.Int J Fertil womens Med 2000;45(5):335-41.