By Christine Chou, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan–The possibility of “infertile” men conceiving children has increased to 50 percent, according to the latest figures released by the Taipei Veterans General Hospital’s (TVGH, 台北榮總) fertility team. Clinical data shows that approximately 1 percent of all men in the population suffer from azoospermia, a medical condition where there is an undetectable amount of sperm in a man’s semen, according to director of the male fertility division William Huang (黃志賢). It is important for men who have no sperm in their ejaculate to be tested to see whether they are producing sperm. The test will determine whether their condition is “obstructive” or “non-obstructive,” where doctors would either have to remove a blockage to restore the flow of sperm or surgically retrieve immature sperm, said Huang. Pregnancy rates for “non-obstructive” and “obstructive” azoospermia increased to 41.2 percent and 50 percent in the first half of the year, respectively, compared with last year’s figures of 36.8 percent and 39.7 percent, stated the hospital. Huang brought up the example of a man diagnosed as infertile, who had been advised to try adoption because he could “never have a baby.” However, the TVGH fertility team identified usable sperm in his right testicle and he and his wife recently conceived a child via in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Identifying usable sperm through this method is like “searching for an oasis in the desert,” said the doctor. “Now, there is half the chance.”