Effect of Male Diagnosis and Use of Off-Site Surgical Centers on Sperm Recovery and IVF

The first step on the way to happy parenthood for fertility-challenged couples is to do a series of diagnostic tests to determine the causes of infertility.

The first step on the way to happy parenthood for fertility-challenged couples is to do a series of diagnostic tests to determine the causes of infertility. But if a woman needs to go through a lot of labs and examinations, then in order to understand whether a man is able to conceive a child, it is enough to get only his spermogram and, sometimes, blood and urine.

There are many reasons that could prevent natural conception due to men’s health, including:

  • lack of sperm concentration;
  • abnormal sperm morphology;
  • narrowing of the seminiferous tubules;
  • weak sperm cells unable to reach the egg and fertilize it and so on.

A sperm pathology diagnosed within a medical examination may result in the recommendation to undergo in vitro fertilization. While modern assisted reproductive technologies help overcome infertility due to both female and male factors, one of the main problems solved by IVF is the poor quality of sperm. Several methods have been developed aimed at obtaining a sufficient number of full-fledged sperm cells for the procedure, including testicular sperm extraction (TESE).

Does Male Diagnosis Affect TESE Outcomes?

When it comes to TESE infertility treatment before IVF, the main question is whether it is possible to get sperm suitable for fertilization when the man is diagnosed to have a poor quality of sperm. Researches on the results of IVF with a male factor of infertility prove that the chances of success are almost not influenced by the quality of sperm. Today’s ICSI (intracytoplasmic injection of sperm into the egg) technology allows achieving fertilization even when none of sperm cells have normal morphology. The only thing required is the availability of at least some sperm.

There are only a couple of situations when male diagnosis increases the chances of failed IVF. One of them is a violation in a chromosome structure detected by karyotyping (through blood tests), while the other is total globozoospermia, which is a major defect in all spermatozoid heads. However, in the first case, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis helps out since it allows selecting and transferring the best embryos without genetic abnormalities based on their morphological characteristics. In the second case, the couples have to take pot luck, but anyway, the help of a qualified specialist can improve the chances.

Does it Matter Where the Procedures Are Performed?

This leads us to the understanding of the fact that the choice of an IVF clinic is crucial for achieving the required success. Regardless of the severity of male diagnosis, there are a lot more chances to get positive outcomes in a clinic boasting vast experience in the employment of the above-mentioned technologies coupled with cryopreservation opportunities. The latter helps in saving viable sperm cells until oocyte retrieval is carried out for further fertilization.

However, it doesn’t mean that all the procedures need to be performed on one site. Actually, a study conducted in 2013 in the USA showed that TESE and IVF can be performed in different places, while the distance between them has no influence on the IVF success rate.