Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) for infertile couples with severe or complete asthenozoospermia

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Abstract

SUMMARY

The aim of the study was to evaluate reproductive outcomes in a cohort of infertile couples with severe and complete asthenozoospermia undergoing TESA (testicular sperm aspiration) with ICSI. We conducted a retrospective study of 28 couples with complete or severe asthenozoospermia who underwent TESA between January 2010 and December 2015. We compared TESA-ICSI outcomes of these couples to ejaculate ICSI outcomes of 40 couples with severe asthenozoospermia treated during the same time period at our institution. Couples with female factor infertility and/or female aged ≥39 were excluded. Sperm retrieval rates and ICSI outcomes [(MII oocytes, fertilization rate, good embryo rate (transferred and frozen), couples with embryo transfer (per cycle started), clinical pregnancy (per embryo transfer)] were recorded. Patients were grouped based on whether they had ejaculated (Ej-group) or testicular (TESA-group) spermatozoa used. Testicular sperm patients were further classified based on whether they had complete asthenozoospermia (0% total motility) (Tc-group) or severe asthenozoospermia (≤1% progressive motility) (Ts-group). Mean (±SD) male and female ages were 36 ± 6 and 32 ± 4, respectively. Sperm recovery by testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) was successful in 100% (28/28) of the men. The overall clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) per cycle started was 34% (23/68) with a mean of 1.1 ± 0.4 embryos transferred per transfer. Fertilization rates were significantly lower in TESA-group compared to Ej-group (52% vs. 67%, respectively; p = 0.001), while male age was significantly higher in TESA-group compared to Ej-group (34 ± 6 vs. 37 ± 6, respectively; p = 0.03). Moreover, female age was significantly higher in Tc-group compared to Ts-group (30 ± 4 vs. 33 ± 3, respectively; p = 0.0285). However, there were no significant difference in clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer in the Tc-group, Ts-group, and Ej-group (50% vs. 45% vs. 57%, respectively; p = 0.8219). The data suggest that testicular sperm-ICSI is no better than ejaculated sperm-ICSI in couples with severe or complete asthenozoospermia. Randomized, controlled trials comparing ejaculated vs. testicular spermatozoa are needed to assess the true benefit of TESA-ICSI in these couples.

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