IUI: Recent medical breakthroughs have helped even men with very few sperms to become fathers. “When the count is at least 10 million, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) can be tried. Here, the semen is washed by special methods in a lab and a small quantity of sperms are placed, using a thin tube, inside the woman’s womb. This is a simple, inexpensive procedure,” says Dr Pai.
ICSI: If the count is very low, the procedure of choice is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which is like a test-tube baby procedure. The woman’s eggs are removed with a needle under sonography control and placed under a microscope. Each sperm is picked up with a needle and injected directly into the egg with a micromanipulator. The eggs then fertilise and divide and after two to three days, the embryo is placed in the womb,” she adds.
PESA, TESA: In cases where there are no sperms in the semen, but the hormone test is normal, sperms can be removed directly from the testes using a tiny needle. These techniques, called PESA and TESA, need no cut or major surgery. The sperms thus obtained are injected into the egg using the ICSI procedure.
Donor sperms: “In some cases, there is complete testicular failure with abnormal hormones and no sperms. In such cases, the only option is to use donor sperms. These are taken from a semen bank, which stores samples after screening them for infections like HIV and Hepatitis. This semen is then injected into the woman. Through this simple and inexpensive technique, one can obtain a high rate of pregnancy,” says Dr Pai.
In the last two decades, reproductive health of men have taken a serious beating considering a host of factors, most which can be ascribed to a faulty lifestyle. Says, Dr. Ruchi Malhotra, Head of the Fertile Solution IVF & Research Center, New Delhi, “It is a serious problem of modern day lifestyle today. Infertility in men has increased in India many folds due to the wrong habits and poor lifestyle. Any Kind of addiction is indeed bad for your reproductive health”, “But it can always be corrected with lifestyle improvements”, she added.