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Sperm recovery and IVF after testicular sperm extraction (TESE): effect of male diagnosis and use of off-site surgical centers on sperm recovery and IVF.

OBJECTIVE: Determine whether testicular sperm extractions and pregnancy outcomes are influenced by male and female infertility diagnoses, location of surgical center and time to cryopreservation.

PATIENTS: One hundred and thirty men undergoing testicular sperm extraction and 76 couples undergoing 123 in vitro fertilization cycles with testicular sperm.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Successful sperm recovery defined as 1-2 sperm/0.5 mL by diagnosis including obstructive azoospermia (n = 60), non-obstructive azoospermia (n = 39), cancer (n = 14), paralysis (n = 7) and other (n = 10). Obstructive azoospermia was analyzed as congenital absence of the vas deferens (n = 22), vasectomy or failed vasectomy reversal (n = 37) and "other"(n = 1). Sperm recovery was also evaluated by surgical site including infertility clinic (n = 54), hospital operating room (n = 67) and physician's office (n = 11). Treatment cycles were evaluated for number of oocytes, fertilization, embryo quality, implantation rate and clinical/ongoing pregnancies as related to male diagnosis, female diagnosis, and use of fresh or cryopreserved testicular sperm.

RESULTS: Testicular sperm recovery from azoospermic males with all diagnoses was high (70 to 100%) except non-obstructive azoospermia (31%) and was not influenced by distance from surgical center to laboratory. Following in vitro fertilization, rate of fertilization was significantly lower with non-obstructive azoospermia (43%, p = <0.0001) compared to other male diagnoses (66%, p = <0.0001, 59% p = 0.015). No differences were noted in clinical pregnancy rate by male diagnosis; however, the delivery rate per cycle was significantly higher with obstructive azoospermia (38% p = 0.0371) compared to diagnoses of cancer, paralysis or other (16.7%). Women diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve had a reduced clinical pregnancy rate (7.4% p = 0.007) compared to those with other diagnoses (44%).

CONCLUSION: Testicular sperm extraction is a safe and effective option regardless of the etiology of the azoospermia. The type of surgical center and/or its distance from the laboratory was not related to success. Men with non-obstructive azoospermia have a lower chance of successful sperm retrieval and fertilization.

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