I am very proud to introduce a new laboratory procedure for male infertility patients called Extended Sperm Search & Microfreeze, or ESSM. We’ve acquired this technology from a company in Israel and Maze Laboratories is the only facility in the U.S. offering this revolutionary procedure at this point in time.
What makes the ESSM procedure so newsworthy is the fact that it provides couples with a renewed hope for conceiving a baby. Previously, if a man had a standard semen analysis and no sperm were found in the ejaculate, his only options were to have either a sperm mapping or micro-TESE—both of which are highly invasive procedures.
However, ESSM is an advanced version of the standard semen analysis that’s a very sophisticated and labor-intensive process of looking for sperm in men who have no sperm on a traditional semen analysis. ESSM is an additional option to try prior to implementing more invasive procedures in order to find sperm for use in in-vitro fertilization with the man’s partner’s eggs.
This technique involves spinning down the man’s ejaculate, isolating it into micro drops and then evaluating each droplet under a special, high-powered microscope. Any sperm found are transferred, using a micromanipulator, to a specialized freezing device that allows them to be easily found after thawing. This process has achieved a high rate of success in maintaining sperm viability.
Although this procedure is brand new, we’ve already successfully found sperm in half of our Azoospermic patients who have used ESSM and they all are now proceeding with in-vitro fertilization.
The men who are candidates for this should have had an evaluation by a specialist to make sure that there is not a reversible cause for their azoospermia or that the reason they had no sperm in the ejaculate is because even though they are making them they cannot get them there.
This procedure is specifically for men who make so few sperm that none are seen in the ejaculate via a standard semen analysis.