The Lugano ProCrea centre offers patients a vast range of services, including the ProCreaAndro andrology laboratory, which is highly specialised in the study and diagnosis of andrological problems that affect couple's ability to have children.
A dedicated team of doctors, biologists and technicians perform examinations and in depth clinical analysis on a daily basis to make the best assessment of male dysfunctions and propose suitable treatments for each individual, according to a survey that makes use of specific high-level skills, state-of-the-art machinery and extensive experience in the sector.
MALE INFERTILITY PREVENTION
Male infertility is often owing to hormonal or immunological disorders, genetic mutations, traumas or obstructions in the genitourinary system, sexual dysfunctions or inflammatory processes. Ignoring or underestimating these problems, with delayed diagnosis, may worsen the situation or make it irreversible.
ProCreaAndro performs targeted analysis to find the source of male infertility
► Semen analysis
► MAR TEST
► Bacteriology of the seminal fluid with antibiogram
► Sperm DNA fragmentation assay
► Cryopreservation of the seminal fluid
► Preparation of the seminal fluid for intrauterine insemination, which may also be performed at the surgery of a gynaecologist outside of the Procrea centre
► In cases of azoospermia (absence of sperm in semen) or severe oligozoospermia (very low concentration of sperm in semen), close cooperation with urologists perform examinations at the Procrea centre for surgical testicular sperm extraction (MESA, TeSE and microTeSE)
► Retrograde ejaculation: diagnosis, urine examination to find sperm and cryopreservation
► Paraplegia: cooperation with internal and external specialists to collect seminal fluid and cryopreservation in paraplegic patients
► Sperm bank management
CRYPRESERVATION OF THE SEMINAL FLUID
ProCreaAndro has a dedicated sperm bank for patients, in which the male gametes are cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. At a temperature of -196°C, the sperm cells' functions remain unaltered for a long time.
Why cryopreserve seminal fluid?
► Reduced or highly reduced parameters emerging from the semen analysis (severe oligozoospermia, criptozoospermia, severe astenozoospermia, extremely low volume)
► For prevention purposes in the the event of operations that present risks for the reproductive system (inguinal hernia, varicocele, orchiectomy, prostatectomy, spinal operations, etc..)
► For preventive purposes in the event of future chemotherapy/radiotherapy treatments (it is common for spermatogenesis to be irreversibly compromised following these treatments)
► To guarantee the availability of male gametes, even if the patient is absent (e.g. work commitments, illness, unexpected events, etc..)
► Following surgical sperm extraction operations (MESA, TESE, microTESE)
► Psychological reasons and preservation of fertility, for example if the patient's job or sports activities involve risks to the reproductive system:
1. Exposure to pesticides (agriculture)
2. Exposure to radiation and/or heat (ovens, foundries, wires)
3. Exposure to industrial chemical products (paints, solvents, etc..)
4. Exposure to metals like lead and mercury (metallurgy)
5. Exposure to glycol ethers (shipyards and foundry workers)
6. High-risk sports owing to the generation of heat in the inguinal area (e.g. cycling) or owing to traumas (e.g. rugby, hockey, etc..)
In cases of azoospermia (absence of sperm in the semen) or severe oligozoospermia (very reduced concentration of sperm), ProCrea makes specialised urologists available to its patients for surgical testicular sperm extraction operations (MESA, TESE, MicroTESE).
In cases of paraplegia, ProCrea works with sector specialists to collect seminal fluid and for subsequent cryopreservation for paraplegic patients.
In cases of azoospermia in which the extraction of the sperm is not possible or has not given positive results, or following repeated failed IVF-ICSI, treatments, through ProCrea it is possible use donor sperm, in other words sperm from an external donor, from the ProCrea sperm bank.
Cryopreserved sperm from donors can be used for donor intrauterine insemination or donor in vitro fertilisation, with identical techniques as for procedures using the couple's own eggs and sperm.
The selection of the donor sample to be used is made with meticulous attention, based on the information available on the recipient couple: their physical characteristics and the blood group of the partner and future father of the child are naturally taken into consideration in the selection of the donor.
Sperm donors come directly from ProCreaAndro or from a specialised foreign sperm bank. All the donors selected must meet the physical and psychological health criteria in line with international guidelines. Every donor is submitted to strict medical history analysis in order to exclude hereditary, infectious and genetic diseases, to guarantee the maximum safety for the patient and the unborn child.
ProCrea stands alone in Europe in offering genetic compatibility analysis between the future mother and the donor, in order to increase the chances of success of the treatments.
In order to use the sperm bank, Swiss law requires that the couple be married.
LIST OF ANALYSES PERFORMED ON THE DONORS
karyotype, mutations of the CFTR gene (Cystic Fibrosis), HLA-G
Thalassemia, favism (G6PdH), C-reactive protein, general clinical chemistry
1. BY MEANS OF PCR (POLIMERASE CHAIN REACTION): HIV, HCV, HPV, CHLAMYDIA T., NEISSERIA G., UREAPLASMA U., MYCOPLASMA H., MYCOPLASMA G., TRICHOMONAS V.
2. BY MEANS OF SEROLOGY: CMV (IGG, IGM), HIV, TREPONEMA P. (VDRL), TREPONEMA (TPHA), HTLV, HEPATITIS-B AGHBS, HEPATITIS-B ABHBS, HEPATITIS-B ABHBC, HEPATITIS-A IGM, HEPATITIS-C AB
3. BY MEANS OF CULTURE TESTING - GARDNERELLA V., STREPTOCOCCUS, UREAPLASMA U., MYCOPLASMA H. AND GENERAL BACTERIOLOGY
Bacteriological testing of the seminal fluid is performed during the donation cycle, whereas full screening (biochemical and infectious diseases) is repeated 180 days after completion of the donation cycle.