You probably won be surprised to know that one in 4 women and couples have a significant “male” or sperm related issue contributing to their challenge of having a family. In many cases, the problem is one of a low sperm count, or poor motility, but in an increasing number of situations, there is no sperm available at all. The most obvious situation where this occurs is where a woman doesn’t have a male partner. This may be due to sexual preference, social situation, life dramas, and a number of other possible reasons. Fortunately, and directly as a result of the generosity of our caring donors, Ballarat IVF has a limited amount of donor sperm to help these women, and other couples who need donor sperm.
Additionally, there are a number of men, who, often to their complete surprise have no sperm in their semen. Generally, and to some degree, simply speaking, this is caused by low levels of sperm production in the testicle, or blockage in the flow of sperm through the male reproductive system. The good news is that it is very common, using a couple of simple procedures, to be able to obtain sperm for these men, so that they can father a child with their own sperm. The most common procedure used for obtaining sperm is a PESA (percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration). This can be performed under Local Anaesthetic, but at Ballarat IVF we have Specialist Anaesthetists working with us who offer light sedation. Sometimes, a testicular biopsy is performed, either by a Ballarat IVF fertility specialist, or a Urologist. All sperm retrieved is frozen for the couple’s use in the future during treatment. Both procedures are performed as day case operations, and men are able to go back to work the next day.
If you are a man who has, or thinks he has, no, or low sperm counts, you will benefit from a detailed consultation with your Ballarat IVF fertility specialist, as the diagnosis, and treatment plan can be complex. Overall, however, you should be optimistic about your chances of having a family using your own sperm.
All the best