New Technique Help Men Become Fathers After Chemo
Researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center recently came across an exciting discovery. A new process, called microdissection testicular sperm extraction (or, strangely, “TESE”), finds viable sperm in the testicular tissue of men that have undergone cancer treatments. This discovery gives many men hope – men who once had to wrestle with the idea that because of their cancer treatment, they were now sterile, and would not be able to father a child.
Seventy-three men participated in a study on the TESE technique, and 15 became fathers. Twenty children in-all have been born from it.
The process is complicated – after the sperm is extracted using TESE, they are directly injected into a woman’s ovum using another complicatedly-named process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The woman’s ovum are also extracted, and the injection is done in a lab.
And most importantly, the children born by way of TESE-ICSI were without birth defects. Great success!
Though the study suggests that the best method of ensuring a pregnancy after chemotherapy is “prechemotherapy sperm cryopreservation” – that is, putting them on ice – the TESE-ICSI process is very promising, and gives dudes hope, where they once thought they were without an option.
On a humorous note, parents of children born in this process may ironically have an easier answer to their childrens’ questions about how babies are made. The rest of us uncomfortably dance around the topic, where parents from this study can simply answer “TESE-ICSI, now finish your dinner.”