Study Offers New Hope for Couples Trying to Conceive; Urologist Dr. Paul Turek's Innovative Technique Finds "Hidden" Sperm

Published: Sep 10, 2018

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Couples can conceive even when all conventional fertility techniques have failed, according to a study just published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, detailing a breakthrough procedure called Sperm Mapping, which can help men diagnosed as infertile, or azoospermic, to become fathers. According to Dr. Paul Turek, senior author on the paper and the inventor of the technique, the published research demonstrates that Sperm Mapping is a game-changing technique in the treatment of men previously thought to be sterile.

The findings are especially timely in the world of infertility, as it comes in the wake of other studies that reportedly found sperm counts falling worldwide. This revolutionary research shows that it's possible for men to become fathers, even without ejaculated sperm. This has been further substantiated by Dr. Turek's success in treating many patients, who are now fathers or soon-to-be.

The Sperm Mapping process works like GPS does in your car, mapping the patients' testicle for sperm, and then using the 'map' to guide sperm retrieval. Dr. Turek, a male infertility and men's health specialist based in Beverly Hills, says the biggest challenge is to figure out which men have sperm and where the sperm are located in the testicles. "We knew our technique was good at finding sperm, but not this good, until now," he states. Pregnancy occurs using conventional assisted reproduction (IVF-ICSI).

Working with collaborators at Imperial College London, Mr. Jonathan Ramsay, (Consultant Urologist) and lead author Dr Sheba Jarvis (Endocrinology SpR), the research is the first to compare two different approaches to surgical sperm retrieval in sterile men - starting with comparing their ability to find sperm. Among a group of almost 600 sterile men from around the world who attended The Turek Clinics over a 5-year period, 82 were found to have no sperm using the conventional Microsurgical Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE or m-TESE), an antiquated and invasive surgery that searches through the 700 feet of tiny tubes in the testicle for sperm and can have life-long negative side effects.

Dr. Turek's team then "Mapped" these men with his signature nonsurgical, Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Sperm Mapping technique. By mapping the testicle, sperm was found in almost a third (29%) of cases, meaning that these men had the opportunity to become fathers, which was not possible before being 'mapped.'

Knowing that sperm was present, the research team then proved that they could reliably retrieve the sperm for IVF-ICSI and did so in all attempted cases. Study authors Mr. Ramsay and Dr. Jarvis state, "What is quite novel is that if you 'know before you go' with Mapping, men need less invasive procedures to find sperm afterwards."

In fact, most men (87%) required only single-sided sperm retrieval procedures after Mapping, whereas the conventional microdissection procedure is typically performed on both testicles. This issue is of significant concern as surgical procedures on the testicles can lower testosterone levels even further, and often for life.

In this largest study of failed microdissection cases to date, the research also created digital maps to show exactly where in the testicle the sperm are located after failed microdissection. "In our review of data so far, they seem to be present around the edges rather than in the center of the testis," notes Dr. Jarvis. This is valuable information for infertility specialists, as large microdissection procedures may fail to find sperm in about half of cases.

"This research supports Sperm Mapping as a kinder and gentler alternative to microdissection, and gives more hope for even the most difficult infertility cases," adds Dr. Turek.

About Paul Turek, MD, FACS, FRSM

Male reproductive health expert Dr. Paul Turek is founder of The Turek Clinics, leading health care clinics for men worldwide. Dr. Turek is a recipient of a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for research designed to help infertile men become fathers. A former Professor and Endowed Chair at the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Turek has pioneered innovative techniques for treating male infertility, including Testicular Mapping. Other innovations in men's health include helping to popularize the No-Scalpel Vasectomy and achieving some of the highest success rates worldwide for vasectomy reversals. Dr. Turek sits on the board of several high-profile organizations and is an advisor to the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dr. Turek blogs on a weekly basis about common medical issues, solutions and innovations at TurekOnMensHealth.com. For more information, visit TheTurekClinic.com.


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