The Surgical Sperm Recovery Scam For IVF ICSI, many doctors recommend surgical sperm retrieval. This may seem overwhelming, but patients who have been through it will understand. To clarify, let me add more. ICSI is often performed on men with male-factor infertility, who have low sperm counts or poor sperm motility and cannot fertilise their wife’s eggs in the lab, so doctors do ICSI, which is right. A difficulty emerges when sperm fertilise poorly in the ICSI lab. Poor fertilisation is frequently caused by a clumsy technician or an embryologist who doesn’t know how to do ICSI. However, the embryologist refuses to accept responsibility and the IVF clinician knows nothing about the IVF ICSI laboratory data, so the clinic happily blames poor sperm quality for inferior embryos. Even to the patient, this makes natural sense. Since sperm fertilise the egg, it makes obvious that poor quality sperm cause bad embryos, hence we need to find an alternative.
The doctor recommends surgical sperm retrieval for those who refuse donor sperm. This means what? These doctors say the poor quality fertilisation rates after the ICSI cycle were because the sperm were collected from the semen, which exposes them to a lot of unhealthy influences. To prevent these toxic influences, which are all imaginary, they advise retrieving the sperm directly from the testis and using them for ICSI. Now the poor patient is bewildered and doesn’t know any better, so he goes to a second or third clinic for a second or third opinion and the doctor runs a sperm DNA fragmentation test to measure sperm quality. Now this test is a load of crap, but patients will do it because they know no better, and when the results are abnormal, they say, “We know that the poor quality embryos were caused by poor quality sperm as evidenced by the high sperm DNA fragmentation, so it makes sense to use testicular sperm, but you need to do it at our clinic because we’re better.”
Then some people will go to a male infertility specialist or andrologist for more information, who will give the same counsel because he can make more money by having a testicular biopsy and is pleased to help. Even with testicular sperm aspiration and EC, they get poor-quality embryos because the problem was the laboratory, not the sperm. A bad laboratory will produce bad embryos regardless of the sperm. Surgical sperm retrieval should only be used for men with azoospermia or a zero sperm count, but if there are sperm in the semen, even if there’s just one per hypo field or even if your count is as low as 0.0001 million, a good laboratory will be able to collect enough sperms for EC by asking you to do a sequential ejaculate and the success rates with ejaculated sperm are high.
However, this approach is flawed; even when testicular sperm aspiration is performed, poor-quality embryos can still result if the underlying issue lies within an inadequate laboratory environment. In fact, success rates are generally higher when utilizing ejaculated sperms due to their increased maturity and ease of handling by embryologists.
In conclusion, if you have viable sperms in your semen and are recommended for surgical sperm retrieval by a clinic – seek alternative options elsewhere.