Cryogonia, always present in scientific events, participated in the 12th Panhellenic Conference of the Hellenic Andrology Society, with two presentations: lecture by Director Dr. L. Evgeni and free announcement by Biologist D. Koumassi, who received the award for best free presentation.

‘Sperm morphology – is it the mirror image of functionality?’

In her speech, Dr. L. Evgeni demonstrated the importance of Morphology in the evaluation of male semen quality, which remains a contemporary challenge for laboratory scientists in Reproductive Biology. As other hunters of the ‘holy grail’, Reproductive Biologists are facing the challenge to capture the close relationship between the form and function of sperm by identifying the various shapes and sizes found in male spermatozoa. The process of fertilization depends to a large extent on normal sperm functional structure. That is why its correct assessment is necessary in the context of a thorough investigation of male fertilizing potential.

The morphological evaluation of sperm is technically demanding and requires the appropriate training of laboratory scientists, the use of special equipment including high magnification microscopy and the implementation of strict internal and external quality control.

Morphology evaluation according to the Tygerberg Strict Criteria is based on the principle of natural selection and can be an important factor of sperm fertilizing potential, revealing underlying pathology and serving as a tool for selecting the appropriate ART method, in order to optimize the chance of reproductive success.

‘Correlation of Reductive Stress with the levels of basic semen parameters in samples of the Greek population’

Although oxidative stress is the most studied condition of sperm abnormal redox status, it seems that reductive stress is a situation that carries risks for male fertility and negatively affects basic sperm quality. Excessive use of antioxidants can lead to the absence of oxidative mechanisms that are important for sperm function, which must be taken into account in the therapeutic management of infertile men.

The present study was conducted at the Andrology Laboratory of Cryogonia and aimed to record the presence of reductive stress in samples from the Greek population, investigating correlations between levels of redox potential and basic semen parameters, as well as possible etiological factors.

This work, which was awarded as the best free presentation of the Conference, is a pilot study for an extensive population study on the risks involved in reductive stress and the rational application of antioxidant therapy as a means of improving male infertility.