Traditionally it was thought that men with no sperm counts (Azoospermia) in their semen could not have a child of their own. Sperms are made in structures called seminiferous tubules present in both testes. Millions of sperms are made every day and thankfully only one sperm is required to fertilise an egg leading to a pregnancy. Usually a testicular biopsy is done ( where a small sample of testicular tissue is studied) and if negative for sperms it is thought that the man cannot sire a child. Donor sperm use or adoption are then the only possible options for the couple.
Microscopic Testicular Sperm Extraction has revolutionised the treatment of male infertility. In this procedure, the testis is opened under anaesthesia and larger tubules are seen under operative microscope at 15 times magnification. These tubular pieces are given to the embryologist to look for any viable sperms. A dedicated team of andrologists and embryologists is required for this intensive procedure which may take between 1- 2 hours. Chances of finding useful sperms are very high in this procedure as both the testis are adequately sampled. The retrieved sperm is then frozen and used for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) procedure which in common terms is an advanced test tube baby procedure. Microscopic TESE has given hope to countless infertile couples with male factor infertility. The procedure costs INR 70,000 approximately and the patient is discharged on the same day.
Dr. Manu Gupta is a Senior Consultant, Urology & Andrology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and First Step IVF Centre, doing Micro TESE with excellent results. Patients with small testis and poor reproductive hormone levels also get benefit from this procedure. There is always hope.! Contact today for Consultation.