There many reasons why couples fail to conceive naturally, including male infertility. However, assisted conception is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of fertility medicine and there are now more treatments than ever available to address this.
1% of the entire male population is affected and more than 10% in males who proactively look for fertility advice and evaluation. At Cyprus IVF Clinic we understand that male infertility can be a difficult thing to face; emotionally, psychologically and physically. We are able to offer surgical treatments for male infertility, which substantially increase the chances of successful fertilisation.
‘Azoospermia’ is the term used when there is no sperm present in the seminal fluid upon ejaculation. There are two types of this:
- Obstructive azoospermia. This is where the sperm are created but are not present in the seminal fluid due to a physical obstruction.
- Non-obstructive azoospermia. This is where there is a problem with spermatogenesis. It can be caused by:
– Lack of development of the tubes which carry sperm from the testicles to the penis
– If the tubes are present, but blocked
– If there is sperm, but in such low quantities that it cannot be seen in the semen sample
– If a vasectomy has been performed in which case the tubes are severed
There are three treatments that we use for male infertility at the Cyprus IVF Clinic:
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)
This is where a fine needle is inserted into the epididymis to extract seminal fluid. This is then examined by the embryologists who will select the highest quality sperm to be used for ICSI. This procedure can be done under general or local anaesthetic but at Cyprus IVF Clinic we use the former because there are fewer complications and a faster recovery time.
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)
This treatment is most often used when there has been a vasectomy, or a failed reversal of a vasectomy. It is the most common male infertility treatment and it is performed under local anaesthetic where a small amount of testicular tissue is removed from the testes via a fine needle. This is a very simple procedure. The tissue is then examined as per PESA. Painkillers are available for any post-treatment discomfort.
Micro-epididymal Sperm Aspiration
This is a procedure carried out under general anasaethetic for those males who have blocked tubes. Sperm is taken directly from the epididymis and then immediately used in ICSI because this allows for the best chance of fertilisation.
Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
This is an augmentary treatment. Once the sperm has been extracted, it is then analysed by embryologists and the best quality sperm are selected and injected directly into the egg. Embryo transfer normally takes place 2-3 days after egg collection. After fertilisation they are then transferred to a temperature regulated incubator until transfer day.