Finding solutions to a poor sperm sample

Occasionally, the quality of the sperm produced on the day of egg collection is unexpectedly poor. This can happen if you had an episode of high fever some weeks beforehand but can also be part of the normal variations in sperm quality. If this happens to you and you were planning to have IVF, your doctor may suggest trying intracytoplasmic sperm injection as an alternative procedure (I explain this procedure in the section 'Coming to Grips with All the IVF Acronyms and What They Mean' earlier in this chapter). If you go ahead with this alternative procedure, there's a good chance the eggs may fertilise.

Very rarely, either you may not be able to produce sperm or no sperm are found in your ejaculate. Unfortunately, the eggs can't wait very long for sperm, so if no sperm are available on the day the eggs are collected, the eggs won't fertilise without a rescue operation. If this happens to you, these are the rescue options:

i If you have frozen sperm stored as back-up, this can be used.

i Your doctor may try to extract sperm directly from your testicles using a needle. If this procedure works, the embryologist can perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

i The embryologist may offer to freeze the eggs and keep them stored until some sperm can be extracted. However, eggs don't freeze very well, so this option offers only a very small chance of rescuing the cycle.

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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