The motility of epididymal or testicular spermatozoa does not directly affect IVF/ICSI pregnancy outcomes

Kenneth K. Moghadam, Reed Nett, Jared C. Robins, Michael A. Thomas, Sherif G. Awadalla, Michael D. Scheiber, Daniel B. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Our objective was to determine whether the presence of motility in surgically obtained sperm samples improves fertilization and pregnancy rates for patients undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI). This was a retrospective study in a hospital-based infertility center. Sixty-seven couples with a diagnosis of azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia who had undergone a sperm retrieval procedure in conjunction with 100 IVF/ICSI cycles from 1995 to 2004 were evaluated. The impact of sperm motility on fertilization and clinical pregnancy rates was determined. The motile and nonmotile sperm groups differed in the number of mature oocytes retrieved (10.7 ± 5.8 vs 13.4 ± 6.0), but fertilization (56.7% vs 59.1%) and embryo cryopreservation rates (35.9% vs 39.3%) were statistically similar. Clinical pregnancy rates did not differ between the motile (38.5%) and nonmotile (31.2%) groups, nor did they differ between obstructive and nonobstructive patients (35.3% vs 26.7%). There was also no statistical difference in pregnancy rates between testicular and epididymal aspiration (35.3% vs 26.7%), although epididymal sperm were significantly more likely to be motile than testicular sperm (100% vs 39.3%, P < .0001). Epididymal aspiration is more likely to produce motile sperm than testicular sperm retrieval. The use of motile sperm from epididymal or testicular samples, however, does not appear to enhance fertilization or clinical pregnancy rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-623
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of andrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Azoospermia
  • Epididymal sperm
  • Infertility
  • Testicular sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine


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