The fact that women are physically responsible for pregnancy leads to misinformation about the role of men in assisted reproduction treatments
The truth is that there have been many advances in the sector in terms of techniques and diagnosis, but unfortunately, male infertility is increasingly present.
There is a consensus among experts that the quality of semen is much worse today than it was forty years ago. Between 30 and 50 per cent of men of childbearing age do not reach the figures set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The data, according to the latest Human Reproduction Update study, shows that the semen quality in developed countries has been halved in less than 50 years.
There are several conditions that can affect male sperm production and quality and to give you an idea, here are a few explanations.
Teratozoospermia, which means there is the likelihood of more than four percent abnormality of sperm in the sample, asthenozoospermia is a condition when less that 32 percent of sperm has progressive motility or less than 40 percent of total mobile sperm, azoospermia is when there is an absence of sperm cells in the semen and aspermia, which is a total lack of semen.
What are the most common techniques used by fertility experts to treat sperm defects?
The embryologists of the andrology laboratory are responsible for dealing with all the questions about male patients in Clínica Tambre. When a man comes to the clinic the techniques most commonly used are those designed to fulfil their dream of having a healthy baby even if the man suffers from one of the pathologies previously described.
ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is an assisted reproduction technique that allows an egg to be fertilised by injecting it with a single sperm. It means that this treatment is especially recommended for patients with azoospermia, oligozoospermia, asthenozoospermia or teratozoospermia.
At Clínica Tambre they offer Chip FERTILE as an additional technique for sperm selection aimed at patients who have suffered from repeated miscarriages and IVF failures. It is a simple technique which allows a quick, easy and non-aggressive treatment of the semen sample to enable unique selection of the best sperm. This allows to select sperm which has better motility and overall quality. Tambre’s embryology staff explain that thanks to the use of ICSI and Chip FERTILE they select sperm with good mobility and less DNA fragmentation.
Some male patients do not produce sperm when they ejaculate. In such cases, a testicular biopsy is performed to extract it directly from the testicle. This outpatient surgery is called TESA. “Testicular biopsy is used to recover sperm in certain cases of azoospermia, or when the quantity and/or quality of these is insufficient for assisted reproduction techniques,” explains Rachele Pandolfi, embryologist of Clínica Tambre.
Many men choose to preserve their fertility at the centre because their desire to have children has not come yet. The sperm can remain frozen for as long as necessary. Cryopreservation does not alter the quality of the sperm sample.
Furthermore, Pandolfi explains that the cryopreservation of sperm samples before a chemotherapy treatment or surgery can prevent the associated side effects on seminal quality.
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