Cryogonia provided a dynamic scientific presence at the 3rd Conference of the Hellenic Association of Assisted Reproduction Physicians and the Pan-Hellenic Association of Clinical Embryologists, held on February 22-24, 2018, with two announcements:

The Director of Cryogonia Dr. Lina Evgeni presented a speech entitled ‘Sperm Function Testing. Modern Laboratory Approach – Clinical Applications’.

With the introduction and widespread application of ICSI in the practice of Medically Assisted Reproduction, the diagnostic investigation of the infertile male has been mainly based on the information provided by conventional sperm analysis. When performed according to appropriate methodologies by specialized scientists, the spermiogram is the first step in the laboratory evaluation of male infertility. However, it presents limitations as a tool for assessing sperm fertility potential, because it basically depicts the quantitative expression of spermatogenesis.

Increasing scientific data focus on modern methods, which aim at investigating the individual procedures that sperm are required to perform in order to achieve fertilization of the oocytes and the creation of viable embryos. Detailed morphometric analysis, membrane integrity, nuclear chromatin compaction and sperm nuclear DNA integrity, redox potential balance and binding ability in hyaluronic acid polymers, constitute diagnostic aspects that can provide useful information on the functional potential of the spermatozoa.

The application of these tests, individually or in combination, in suitably selected cases, is a modern, comprehensive approach to male infertility investigation, which can contribute to a more effective management through the alteration of everyday lifestyle conditions, the administration of enhancing therapeutic regimes and/or the application of specialized sperm selection techniques in the context of IVF.

Yiota Bagouraki, Biologist of Cryogonia team, presented an oral communication titled: “Sperm donation: conclusions from 5 years of experience in donor recruitment”.

Recruitment of sperm donors is a time-consuming and demanding process, which involves successive stages of multiple evaluations and controls until the final acceptance of a candidate in the donation program.

A retrospective analysis of a total of 495 candidates interested in participating in Cryogonia Cryopreservation Bank’s sperm donation program over a five-year period (2012-2017) leads to interesting conclusions about acceptance rates and causes of rejection. Only a small percentage (about 10%) of the initial number of candidates is finally accepted. The main reasons for rejection are related to unsatisfactory sperm quality, followed by factors related to medical history or the carrier status for genetic diseases. Also noteworthy is the percentage of people who, after their first application or their initial testing, are withdrawn from the process voluntarily.

The donor recruitment process can be made more effective by expanding the initial number of candidates. Informing the general public about the problem of infertility and raising awareness of the possibility of social contribution can enhance the expression of interest, the continuous participation of the candidates in the program and, therefore, the final number of donors available.