Testicular sperm retrieval for the treatment of non-obstructive azoospermia requires the execution of an invasive procedure, with all its possible attending complications and subsequent long-term effects. This study suggests a new non-invasive approach for collection of spermatozoa in these patients: the extended sperm preparation (ESP). ESP consists of conducting a thorough microscopic search through many droplets of ejaculate sediment. ESP was performed for 49 patients; in 17 patients (35%), spermatozoa were found and subsequently used in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Of these preparations, five yielded fewer motile spermatozoa than the number of corresponding oocytes available, and in one patient only non-motile spermatozoa were recovered. The remaining 32 ESP-negative patients underwent testicular sperm extraction (TESE) from testicular biopsy. Spermatozoa were found in 16 of 32 biopsies (50%) and subsequently used in ICSI. Fertilization and cleavage rates were comparable in both ESP and TESE groups, yielding four clinical pregnancies in each group (27 and 29% respectively). Embryo morphology was defined as excellent in significantly more cases in the ESP group than the TESE group, and implantation rate appeared somewhat higher in the ESP group (16%) than the TESE group (13%). The ESP technique yields results similar to TESE, and can be applied in cases of non-obstructive azoospermia as a prerequisite modality enabling us to avoid testicular biopsy in 35% of cases.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
- Testicular spermatozoa
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology