Couple Conceives Despite Spinal Cord Injury

Male fertility treatment helps conceive pregnancy in time for special holiday celebration

San Francisco, CA – December 22, 2008: Despite the daily barrage of bad news regarding the economy and the war, Larissa and Carl Richardson are planning the biggest holiday celebration of their lives this year. The couple are expecting a baby they worked very hard to conceive. Larissa and Carl are among the approximately 2.1 million infertile married couples in the United States. Their infertility is not due to a problem with Larissa, but because Carl was in a logging accident 17 years ago which crushed the lower half of his body. Carl’s resulting spinal cord injury (SCI) has left him unable to walk and often in a wheelchair. Yet five months after he and Larissa arrived at the office of Dr. Paul Turek, founder of The Turek Clinic in San Francisco to receive electoejaculation, a special fertility treatment for men, the Richardsons received the news that Larissa is pregnant. This news is just in time to celebrate their good fortune with the family at Christmas-time.

…Despite the devastating physical damage to the body from SCI, these men can be very fertile.”
– Dr. Paul Turek

Dr. Turek offered the couple hope of being able to conceive by retrieving Carl’s sperm using a procedure called electroejaculation. An electric probe is inserted into the rectum adjacent to the prostate. The probe delivers a slight electric current that stimulates nearby nerves, resulting in contraction of the pelvic muscles and ejaculation. Electroejaculation is usually carried out under a general anesthetic. It takes a few minutes and can be performed in the doctor’s office, eliminating the need for a hospital stay. Dr. Turek is one of 25 physicians in the United States who offer electroejaculation for reproductive age men 21-55.

The next step is for the woman to go through fertility treatment called in vitro fertilization (IVF). A fertility clinic takes the sperm and fertilizes the egg in a laboratory. The embryo is then returned to the woman’s uterus.

“Despite the devastating physical damage to the body from SCI, these men can be very fertile,” said Dr. Turek. “Ejaculation is a spinal reflex and it is my job to stimulate the reflex. This procedure has been very successful and can help fulfill the hopes and dreams of many couples who want to have their own child.”

Carl went through the electroejaculation procedure with Dr. Turek and Larissa received IVF treatment at the Pacific Infertility Clinic in San Francisco. They found out a few weeks ago that Larissa is pregnant and due in July.

” I first saw this option as impersonal and not the way to have a baby at all,” stated Carl Richardson. “However, we learned so much about how life begins– much more than most couples who conceive the old-fashioned way. We are still amazed and grateful this option was available to us.”

This Christmas will be one to remember since The Richardsons plan to break the happy news about their pregnancy to the entire family on the morning of December 25.

About The Turek Clinic

The Turek Clinic is a next-generation men’s healthcare medical practice specializing in issues facing reproductive age men, including male infertilityerectile dysfunctionvasectomyvasectomy reversalvaricocele repair, and other minimally invasive procedures. The practice was founded in 2008 by Dr. Paul Turek, a pioneer in men’s reproductive health and former endowed chair professor at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Turek’s work combines innovative and cutting edge techniques with the wisdom of old-world medicine to treat and solve men’s health issues.

Couple Conceives Despite Spinal Cord Injury (pdf)