Tech­nique could pre­serve fer­til­ity for wounded sol­diers

Daily Trust - - HEALTH -

Sol­diers who suf­fer lower-body in­juries on the bat­tle­field may ben­e­fit from a tech­nique to pre­serve their fer­til­ity, a small study sug­gests.

The num­ber of sol­diers with lower-body wounds caused by im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices (IEDs) has been in­creas­ing, the re­searchers said. Such blasts may re­sult in ejac­u­la­tory duct ob­struc­tions that lead to the in­abil­ity to ejac­u­late.

Dr. Mae Wu Healy and col­leagues from Wal­ter Reed Na­tional Mil­i­tary Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bethesda, Md., sug­gested that sem­i­nal vesi­cle sperm as­pi­ra­tion, or SVSA, could help th­ese wounded sol­diers re­tain the abil­ity to have chil­dren.

“SVSA is a rea­son­able op­tion to re­trieve sperm in wounded war­riors or in trauma pa­tients with pelvic or per­ineal in­juries,” said Dr. Re­becca Sokol, pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for Re­pro­duc­tive Medicine.

“Trag­i­cally, an in­creas­ing num­ber of our wounded ser­vice mem­bers have ex­pe­ri­enced th­ese types of trauma. It is en­cour­ag­ing to know this sperm re­trieval process is be­ing of­fered to this pa­tient pop­u­la­tion and holds prom­ise for them,” Sokol said in an as­so­ci­a­tion news re­lease.

SVSA in­volves the re­trieval of vi­able sperm, which are then frozen and stored for later use.

Six pa­tients who sus­tained lower body IED in­juries, in­clud­ing their pelvis and gen­i­tals, had sperm re­cov­ery be­tween five and 12 days af­ter their in­jury. Their sperm was ex­am­ined, washed and frozen.

Two of the men had in vitro fer­til­iza­tion (IVF) with in­tra­cy­to­plas­mic sperm in­jec­tion (ICSI) cy­cles per­formed us­ing their frozen­thawed sperm. Dur­ing this pro­ce­dure, a sin­gle sperm is in­tro­duced di­rectly into an egg to ini­ti­ate the fer­til­iza­tion process.

The re­searchers ex­am­ined three IVF cy­cles us­ing sperm re­cov­ered through SVSA. One cou­ple un­der­went sin­gle cy­cle of IVF, and had five of 13 ma­ture eggs fer­til­ized. One em­bryo was trans­ferred with a neg­a­tive preg­nancy test. The other cou­ple had four of nine eggs fer­til­ized in their first cy­cle. One em­bryo was trans­ferred, but the preg­nancy test was neg­a­tive. In the cou­ple’s sec­ond IVF cy­cle, eight of 17 eggs were fer­til­ized, and two em­bryos were frozen.

The find­ings were pre­sented on Mon­day at the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for Re­pro­duc­tive Medicine an­nual meet­ing in Bal­ti­more. The re­search was pub­lished si­mul­ta­ne­ously in the jour­nal Fer­til­ity and Steril­ity.

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