Hope for Infertile Men as Researchers Learn More about Sperm

As 2019 unfolds before us, many men and their partners hope that this new year will deliver on dreams of fatherhood. And, with advanced technology and developing infertility research, realizing those dreams seems to finally be possible.

There is renewed hope for infertile men previously thought to be sterile and those whom conventional infertility treatments and procedures have failed.

As research continues, and technology improves, Viera Fertility Center specialists are more confident than ever, men can become biological fathers with assistive reproductive therapies and new approaches to fertility challenges.

Many men may not be aware of two recent discoveries about sperm structures and sperm development in the male human body that are helping men overcome fertility issues to achieve successful pregnancies.

Researchers Gain Valuable Information About Sperm Structures

One remarkable study shows that life does not begin the way scientists previously believed, with one centriole donated by the father’s sperm and a cloned centriole developed in the zygote. The discovery that a second centriole, one with a different cellular structure, is delivered during the fertilization process, is a game-changer in male reproductive medical strategies.

“This research is significant because abnormalities in the formation and function of the atypical centriole may be the root of infertility of unknown cause in couples who have no treatment options available to them,” said Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, professor in the UT Department of Biological Sciences. “It also may have a role in early pregnancy loss and embryo development defects.” – Science Daily1

Using advanced microscopic technology that allows researchers to view proteins at the highest resolution provides new insight into the male reproductive processes and lays the groundwork for developing new fertility treatments for men who struggle to achieve fatherhood. Read the full Science Daily release to learn more about this incredible study and potential applications.

Researchers Offer Sperm Mapping & Microscopic Testicular Sperm Harvesting

Another fairly new option for would-be fathers is sperm mapping. Fertility specialists have long worked with the premise that sperm had to travel through the male reproductive tract in order for successful fertilization to occur.

By closely following the sperm development path in the male body – similar to the way GPS technology provides a map from point A to point B for travelers – researchers discovered sperm hiding in testes tissue is capable of fertilizing a female egg. Fertility specialists now use microscopic technology to identify which tubules in the testes produce sperm, and harvest tiny tissue samples containing viable sperm.

A single collected sperm via needle biopsy can be injected directly into an egg, providing a path to fatherhood for males with obstructive Azoospermia, where an obstruction prevents natural sperm ejaculation, and those who either don’t produce sperm, or their count is too low to show up on traditional semen tests. Although current studies are limited, results indicate about one-third of men who are diagnosed as sterile may have viable sperm in testicular tissue.

These breakthroughs deliver renewed hope to the millions of infertile men and their partners who long to become parents. Viera Fertility Center specialists offer sperm retrieval services for couples who are not ready to consider donor sperm.

As researchers learn more about sperm and the male reproductive processes, procedures like In Vitro Fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI), deliver opportunities for couples who once believed that adoption or donor-assisted pregnancy were their only options for beginning their families.

The new year brings hope and encouragement for couples. Discovering the role of a second centriole in sperm, the role it plays in fertilization, and carrying a baby to term, is extraordinary. As is, the use of sperm mapping and needle biopsies to find hidden sperm in testicular tissue.

Testicular failure, or even a previous diagnosis of uncorrectable sterility, doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have viable sperm. If you and your partner have tried everything imaginable to become pregnant to no avail, contact the Viera Fertility Center to learn more about these two cutting-edge developments.

  1. University of Toledo. “Men may contribute to infertility through newly discovered part of sperm.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180607082542.htm (accessed December 31, 2018).