The acronym MAR stands for mixed antiglobulin reaction. The test is used to diagnose imunological infertility, which means that antisperm antibodies are present that prevent conception from taking place. Antibodies in blood, semen or cervical mucous coat the surface of the sperm, which impairs sperm transport and ultimately fertilisation of the ovum. A diagnosis of imunological infertility is probable when 50% or more of the mobile sperm have antibody attached to them. However it is still possible to conceive assuming that there are no other abnormalities within the semen. Steroids may be helpful by lowering antibody levels and temporarily increasing the odds of conception occurring. Intra-uterine insemination is another treatment option that can be attempted. This involves the insertion of specially prepared sperm in the uterus having previously given medication to the female partner to induce ovulation or egg release. IVF is a further method that has also been successfully used to overcome the difficulties of antisperm antibodies being present. Therefore it is possible to conceive despite the presence of these antibodies but this is unlikely to happen without the assistance of modern reproductive technology.
How to Get Ready for MAR Testing?
You should avoid sexual intercourses, alcohol and excessive heat 2-5 days before the test.
The sperm is collected after masturbation and put in special glass containers. In the laboratory, our researcher will mix it with a special antiserum. If the sperm contains antibodies they will react with this serum forming an “antigen-antibody” interaction. Our specialist can see it through a microscope.
How to Interpret MAR-test Results?
If there are just a few antibodies, this is considered a relative norm. When only 10-30% of gametes are attacked, the situation is not critical. Conception is still possible because the rest of sperm is still ready for fertilization.
If more than 50% of sperm is covered with antibodies, the MAR-test result will be positive. It means that a man has come across immunologic infertility. Though it is not very easy to overcome, our doctors can still treat it successfully.