ICSI using testicular sperm in male hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism unresponsive to gonadotrophin therapy

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The aim of this study was to assess the use of testicular sperm for ICSI in azoospermic men with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism unresponsive to gonadotrophin therapy.


Fifteen patients with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism who remained azoospermic after hormonal treatment underwent testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and ICSI. These men were recruited from the Egyptian IVF centre over a period of 4 years. All patients were given 75 IU hMG thrice weekly and 5000 IU hCG once or twice weekly for ≥6 months prior to attempting ICSI/TESE.


In 11 out of 15 patients (73%), sperm could be retrieved from testicular tissue and were used for ICSI. Two chemical pregnancies resulted but no clinical pregnancies. Nine patients continued gonadotrophin therapy for another 6 months. Sperm appeared in the ejaculate of three of them. The remaining six patients underwent another ICSI cycle, one using cryopreserved sperm and five underwent a second TESE. One chemical pregnancy and three clinical pregnancies were established. One ongoing, one singleton and one twin pregnancies resulted in the delivery of three healthy babies. In total, of 17 ICSI cycles performed using testicular sperm retrieval, the fertilization rate was 41.7% and the cumulative pregnancy rate was 20%.


The use of testicular sperm for ICSI is a treatment option that can be offered to azoospermic males with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism either not responding or reluctant to continue hormonal treatment. However, prolonged hormonal treatment may improve TESE/ICSI results.

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