We are proud to have just completed a very successful year 1 with the implementation of ESSM (Extended Sperm Search and Microfreeze) procedures at Maze Health. We have worked with a wide variety of patients this year and we are excited to share some of our results.
What is ESSM?
ESSM is a revolutionary sperm assessment and processing technique that effectively locates and freezes sperm in cases where this was not possible in the past. If a standard semen analysis is ineffective in detecting sperm count less than 200 cells, we can even use the advanced search process to identify the presence of a single sperm. These sperm can then be preserved by Microfreeze and effectively preserved for use in In Vitro Fertilization Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (IVF-ICSI). The storage device known as SpermVD has a survival and recovery rate of over 90%.
ESSM can find sperm that were previously undetected in a standard semen analysis
We performed 82 ESSM procedures and obtained sperm in 37% of the cases. This matches our projected 44% sperm recovery result based on 140 advanced searches under study conditions. We have seen patients with both expected diagnoses related to non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) and some unexpected categories.
Some patients who correlated with the study group came to us with hypogonadism, varicoceles, and unexplained NOA. We also saw patients with Klinefelter syndrome and Y chromosome microdeletions, as well as before and after cancer treatment. Most of these patients had a history of consistent or transient azoospermia.
In patients with a history of cryptozoospermia, necrozoospermia and severe asthenozoospermia (low to no motility), we were very successful in providing IVF centers with micro-frost samples, which considerably simplified the ICSI preparation process on retrieval day.
We have worked with many different IVF centers in the tristate space and beyond on care planning for severe male infertility. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many patients had to interrupt their IVF or FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) process after successful sperm recovery. However, we are very happy about two ongoing pregnancies.
We are grateful that we can continue to work successfully with Mordechai Koenig of the ATime organization, who brought this groundbreaking protocol to our attention, and with MFC Laboratory, which both published the protocol and designed the SpermVD.
If you have been diagnosed with azoospermia or are experiencing male infertility problems, contact us for a free telephone consultation to see how we might be able to help.