Overcoming Semen Collection Challenges in IVF – Use the Male Factor Pak from Malpani Clinic
August 09, 2023

Sometimes IVF cycles get canceled because the man cannot produce a semen sample on demand at the time of the egg collection. This is often because he's very stressed out, and obviously masturbating in a hospital room or sometimes a hospital bathroom is not much fun, which means he cannot get an erection or produce a sample, which means the entire cycle goes for a toss. In this emergency situation, either the doctor has to freeze the eggs and then fertilize them later on (which reduces the success rate); or he sometimes needs to do a surgical procedure called a TESA (testicular sperm aspiration) - in order to extract fresh testicular sperm. This is more expensive, and the fertilization rate with testicular sperm is not as good as with ejaculated sperm, because most embryologists aren't very good at handling testicular sperm. In order to prevent this situation, many clinics routinely freeze sperm samples in advance of starting the IVF cycle, but this is expensive, and we need better alternatives!

Some men suffer from situational anejaculation. They find that it's not possible for them to produce a semen sample by masturbation because they cannot ejaculate during masturbation, but they don't have any problems ejaculating during intercourse. This might sound paradoxical, but is not uncommon, especially for men who are not used to masturbating ( often for religious reasons) but are used to having regular sexual intercourse with their wives. This means that while they can ejaculate during intercourse, they cannot ejaculate in order to produce a semen sample – either for testing in the lab or for IUI or IVF treatment. That means these treatment options are not available for them, and this can be extremely frustrating. It's not possible to collect semen from the vagina after intercourse, because these sperm die because of the exposure to the acidic pH in the vagina. It’s not possible to use a regular condom either, because condoms contain spermicidal jelly which will kill all the sperm.

The good news is that there is a solution! There is a special silastic non-toxic condom called Male Factor Pak which is available from our clinic. Now this is specially imported and is used exclusively for the purpose of collecting semen samples for men who cannot masturbate in order to produce a sample because they have difficulty ejaculating during masturbation.

A bonus is that the quality of the sperm sample collected by ejaculation during intercourse is often far better than the quality of the sperm sample produced by masturbation!

This is an option worth exploring, and if you find that you have difficulty masturbating to provide sperm samples either for testing or for treatment, please do order the special silastic condom which is available from our clinic.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.