University of wisconsin-madison

Semen morphology

Examine 100 fixed sperm at 40-100X for shape abnormalities. Sperm are fixed by mixing 1:1 with formalin (1%) in saline. A contrasting stain such as eosin G may be used if you do not have phase contrast microscopy. A normal sperm is shown which has a head, neck, middle piece (midpiece), principle piece and end piece. The neck, midpiece, principle piece and end piece are all a part of the sperm tail.

We divide abnormalities into two types. Primary abnormalities are associated with defects to the sperm head. The secondary abnormalities have to do with defects to the sperm midpiece (area below the head) and tail. Examples of each of these are shown below:

Primary abnormalities

diagrams of stallion sperm head abnormalities pictures of head abnormalities of stallion sperm


Secondary Abnormalities

Midpiece Defects

diagram of midpiece abnormalities photos of midpiece abnormalities

General Tail Defects

diagrams of tail abnormalities photos of tail abnormalities



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