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Hum Reprod. 2002 Jan;17(1):157-60.

The value of sperm pooling and cryopreservation in patients with transient azoospermia or severe oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.

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IVF Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carmel Medical Center and the Technion Faculty of Medicine, Haifa, Israel.



A transient state of azoospermia may occur due to toxic, environmental, infectious or iatrogenic conditions. Finding sperm in the ejaculate of such patients is often unpredictable and may be critical in IVF treatment. In the present study, the approach of pooling and cryopreservation of sperm is evaluated. Cryopreservation was performed in a unique group of patients in whom no sperm had been found in at least one previous sperm examination and in patients diagnosed as suffering from non-obstructive azoospermia in whom, occasionally, sperm were found.


A total of 157 semen pooling and cryopreservation procedures in 53 patients was performed between January 1998 and December 2000 in our centre. Forty five of these patients underwent an IVF-ICSI treatment during the study period. In 32 patients, fresh sperm were used to perform ICSI. In 13 patients no sperm were available, and the previously frozen sperm were used.


Using our pooling system, 13 IVF-ICSI cycles were rescued. In seven patients with a previous testicular biopsy due to azoospermia, sperm cryopreservation was possible. Overall, 13 pregnancies (10 deliveries, two ongoing pregnancies and one missed abortion) were achieved.


The introduction of semen banking for patients with transient azoospermia may increase the chance of pregnancy using their own sperm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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