Non-obstructive azoospermia (having a sperm count of zero due to a failure of adequate production of sperm rather than a blockage), arguably poses the most challenging scenario for a couple with infertility. Over the last couple of decades, the technique of microdissection testicular sperm extraction (MicroTESE) has been developed and refined to offer couples in this challenging situation an opportunity to have children with their own sperm and eggs. MicroTESE is a highly meticulous microsurgical search through the testicles to find small pockets of sperm production amongst testicular tissue, which the majority of does not harbor sperm. It is trying to find the needle in the haystack so to speak. Once the man has been evaluated and deemed to be a candidate for microTESE, and sperm is retrieved it may be utilized with IVF/ICSI (in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection) to achieve a pregnancy. It is recommended that microTESE is performed by fellowship trained reproductive urologists as the first chance is considered the best chance of success. Although the majority of fertility centers in the United States do not have any, Austin Fertility & Reproductive Medicine has 2 such reproductive urologists in Dr. Parviz Kavoussi and Dr. Luke Machen.
The team at AFRM has a very high sperm retrieval success rate at 71%. This is comparable to the best anywhere, and there are very few centers in the world that can boast this type of success. The team at AFRM published a research article on possible predictors of outcomes for couples undergoing microTESE/IVF/ICSI. Dr. Parviz Kavoussi states, “Although this is the most challenging scenario we take care of in male fertility, it is also the most rewarding. Many times, the patients we see believe or have been told that they have no chance of fathering children with their own sperm. With the current techniques and technology, we are happy to give most of those couples a good chance.”
To read the full study click here.