Results in the United States with sperm microaspiration retrieval techniques and assisted reproductive technologies

A. M. Belker, R. D. Oates, M. Goldstein, P. N. Schlegel, J. L. Marmar, C. M. Rothman, R. D. McClure, L. I. Lipshultz, H. M. Nagler, J. A. LaNasa, D. A. Ohl, J. Rajfer, L. S. Ross, J. Donovan, E. F. Fuchs, I. D. Sharlip, A. J. Thomas, E. F. Lizza, J. P. Buch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Improved methods of urological microsurgery and of various assisted reproductive technologies have resulted in the ability to achieve pregnancies with sperm aspirated microsurgically from men with bilateral congenital absence of the vasa deferentia or with ductal obstructions that cannot be surgically reconstructed. A survey was conducted of the results of such procedures performed in the United States during approximately 2 years. Female partner ovarian stimulation was initiated in 219 instances at 22 centers. Of the 219 procedures 23 (11%) were terminated without attempting any form of gamete fertilization or insemination of the wide for various reasons (no sperm or too few sperm retrieved, poor to absent sperm motility or poor quality eggs). The etiology of azoospermia in the 219 procedures was congenital absence of the vasa deferentia in 115 cases (52%), other congenital conditions in 15 (7%), failed vasectomy reversal in 37 (17%), infection in 4 (2%), other conditions (mainly ejaculatory dysfunctions that did not respond to electroejaculation and complex ductal obstructions) in 26 (12%) and not specified in 22 (10%). When only patient sperm was used pregnancy was achieved in 12 of 115 wives (10%) of those men who had congenital absence of the vasa deferentia and in 0 to 14% of the wives of men whose azoospermia was caused by other conditions. Of the 219 menstrual cycles in which ovarian stimulation was initiated pregnancy occurred in 24 (11%) with patient sperm and in 9 (4%) with donor sperm. Of these 33 pregnancies a full-term, live delivery occurred in 17 (52%), while 8 (24%) were ongoing at the time of reporting, 2 (6%) miscarried, 3 (9%) were chemical pregnancies, 1 (3%) resulted in a stillborn child and the outcome was unknown in 2 (6%). This new therapy offers only a modest chance of pregnancy. However, it affords men with azoospermia the opportunity to achieve paternity with their own sperm when other therapies are not available or applicable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1259
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • epididymis
  • oligospermia
  • spermatozoa
  • vas deferens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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