Advanced fertility treatments focus on maximizing both partners’ reproductive potential wherever possible. If you struggle with male factor infertility disorder, the problem might lie in the volume and potency of your sperm. Some men may experience low concentrations of sperm, while others may produce excessive amounts of deformed sperm that are unable to swim effectively. In certain cases, there is no measurable level of sperm in the semen at all - a condition known as azoospermia. A testicular sperm extraction, performed by our San Antonio reproductive experts, can help us find and collect healthy sperm from your testes to fertilize your partner’s eggs. If you struggle from unexplained infertility, contact us today to find out if azoospermia is the cause, and if a testicular sperm extraction can help you and your partner conceive a child.
What Your Semen Analysis Says
During the diagnostic portion of your fertility evaluation, our doctors will perform a comprehensive semen analysis to determine if you exhibit male factor infertility. If you have azoospermia, then there will be very little to no sperm in your ejaculated seminal fluid. The cause may be obstructive, meaning there is a blockage in the ducts that carry sperm from the testicles, while sperm production remains normal. Non-obtrusive azoospermia describes an absence of sperm in the semen because of drastically reduced sperm production. If even a small amount of healthy sperm remains in the testicles, then a testicular sperm extraction may be performed to harvest the viable sperm.
Recovering Viable Sperm
The method we use to extract sperm from your testicles will depend on your unique condition. Usually, sperm can be collected from a tiny sliver of the interior portion of the testicle that is removed, a process known as testicular sperm extraction (TESE). This procedure will be most successful if your azoospermia is obstructive, which means that you are still producing sperm even though it is not being released when you ejaculate. After your sperm is retrieved, it can be used to fertilize the mature eggs that we retrieve from your partner through in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Improving Sperm’s Potency with ICSI
IVF is a complex process that is often recommended when other fertility treatments have failed. IVF involves retrieving your sperm and your partner’s eggs, then selecting the healthiest sperm samples to fertilize the healthiest eggs. Insemination involves mixing your sperm and your partner’s eggs, then allowing them to incubate overnight. If azoospermia limits the amount of healthy sperm that we can harvest from your testes, Drs. Martin, Neal, or Pool may recommend directly injecting a single sperm into each mature egg, a process known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Ensuring that a healthy sperm penetrates each egg maximizes the potential of your limited amount of sperm, improving your chances of successful fertilization.
Schedule a Consultation with the Experts
Male factor infertility can be a frustrating issue for many couples, but like female infertility, it is often highly treatable and doesn’t have to significantly impede your chances of starting a family. To learn more about our innovative fertility treatments, schedule a consultation by calling or visiting the Fertility Center of San Antonio today.