When a sperm problem exists that cannot be corrected, the basic principle of treatment involves getting the sperm closer to the egg. This can be done by a number of methods.
- IUI (intrauterine insemination) involves injection of sperm into the woman's uterus
- IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) involves mixing the sperm with the patient's eggs in the laboratory, where fertilization will take place
- IVF + ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) involves injecting a single sperm individually into each egg in the laboratory to improve the chances for fertilization.
- ICSI can be used in cases where there are very low sperm counts/motility/ and/or low percentages of normal appearing sperm (morphology). In some cases where the husband produces no ejaculated sperm, sperm can be directly removed from the testicle or epididymis by a urologist (Testicular or Epididymal sperm aspiration), and then frozen for a future IVF + ICSI cycle. Donor Sperm can be used in cases where there is not even enough sperm for ICSI or in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI) in patients with open fallopian tubes.
- Sperm Banking
- Our Andrology Laboratory has over 20 years of experience with sperm banking (cryopreservation or freezing of sperm for use at a later date) for males who are undergoing medical treatment which might make them sterile. This would include radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, surgery of the male reproductive tract, etc. This allows the patient to have a chance for future fertility following their medical/surgical treatment. As previously mentioned, patients who require removal of sperm directly from the testicle or epididymis also have sperm frozen prior to IVF + ICSI.
- Our Andrology Laboratory also offers an anonymous donor sperm bank to allow our patients more flexibility and choice when donor sperm is requiredThe Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility recognizes the importance of the complex psychosocial aspects of infertility, particularly in those patients who are undergoing more advanced treatment for infertility. We can refer any couple undergoing treatment at our Center to a social worker who is very familiar with our patients, or to another counselor of their choice as indicated.
Causes of Infertility
Ovulation Disorder and PCOS