Frozen-thawed epididymal sperm is effective for intracytoplasmic sperm injection: implications for the urologist

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the pregnancy potential of frozen-thawed surgically retrieved epididymal sperm when used with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Patients and methods

From August 1994 to January 1997, 20 thawed samples of sperm from 19 patients, surgically retrieved and frozen after percutaneous or open epididymal aspiration, were used for ICSI. The results were compared with those obtained using fresh sperm obtained at the same procedure.

Results

Of the specimens of surgically retrieved sperm which had been frozen, stored and thawed, 15 had sufficient motile sperm for use with ICSI. The fertilization, cleavage and pregnancy rates in those cycles were similar to the same couples' previous cycle using fresh sperm from the same collection and to the overall results in the NURTURE ICSI programme obtained with fresh epididymal sperm.

Conclusion

Scrotal exploration for diagnostic testicular biopsy and/or reconstructive surgery without having access to sperm-freezing and storage facilities could represent a lost opportunity for the patient.

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