Our Extended Sperm Search and Microfreeze program, also known as ESSM, saw our first patients in November 2019. This program was designed to:
- Detect sperm in cases of virtual azoospermia- a sperm count too low to be detected on a standard semen analysis. This is typically a total sperm count below 200 (0.0002 million).
- Isolate motile sperm for use in ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). This decreases the amount of time to prepare sperm on the day of egg retrieval. Extended sperm recovery time after egg retrieval may have a detrimental effect on fertilization.
- Freeze sperm using a method called vitrification. This freezing technique was developed for delicate tissue that may not survive the standard slow freezing process typically used for sperm.
After a successful ESSM, our couples can proceed with IVF. We are so pleased to announce that our very first couple to proceed with IVF-ICSI had a successful cycle resulting in 3 healthy embryos!