Objectives. To analyze the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles in infertile couples in whom the main diagnosis of infertility was azoospermia of obstructive and nonobstructive origin. Methods. Eighty-three consecutive ICSI cycles were carried out with retrieved testicular or epididymal spermatozoa, 60 cycles in 32 patients with obstructive azoospermia and 23 cycles in 12 patients with nonobstructive azoospermia. Fifty-four testicular biopsies (testicular sperm extraction) and 18 epididymal aspirations (microepididymal sperm aspiration) were performed. Results. Motile spermatozoa were recovered in 65 cycles (90.3%). In another 3 (4.2%), nonmotile spermatozoa were retrieved. In 4 patients (5.5%), sperm could not be recovered. In 11 cycles, frozen sperm from a previous procedure were used. A significantly lower fertilization rate (64% versus 73%, P = 0.02), clinical pregnancy rate (13% versus 47%, P <0.001), and good embryo quality rates (35% versus 56%, P = 0.009) were observed in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia. In patients with obstructive azoospermia, no significant differences were observed when the outcome was analyzed on the basis of the sperm origin (ie, from testicular sperm extraction or microepididymal sperm aspiration). Conclusions. When combining testicular sperm extraction or microepididymal sperm aspiration with ICSI in patients with obstructive azoospermia, the results in terms of fertilization, implantation, and pregnancy rates were similar to those found in patients with nonazoospermic obstruction who underwent ICSI with ejaculated sperm. Patients with nonobstructive azoospermia had lower fertilization, embryo quality, and pregnancy rates than did those with obstructive azoospermia, probably because of severe defects in spermatogenesis, leading to poor gamete quality. The urologist and reproductive endocrinologist now have an excellent therapeutic option to offer men with previously intractable infertility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas