14/08/2014 16:49 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Paralysed Man To Be Dad Of Twins After Revolutionary Sperm Extraction

Paralysed man to become dad to twins after revolutionary sperm extraction

A man paralysed from the waist down is to become a twins.

Raul Rodriguez, 34, of Camarillo, California, had given up all hope of ever fathering children after injuring his spine in a car accident in 1997.

This led to paralysis in his legs and a diagnosis of anejaculation, an inability to ejaculate, and nonobstructive azoospermia, meaning he had very low sperm levels.

But a revolutionary sperm extraction procedure has resulted in his wife Angie conceiving.

The couple are expecting twin baby girls in May.

Their wonderful news is all thanks to testicular sperm extraction or TESE, where a small section of tissue is taken from a testicle and sperm is removed.

Twelve of Angie's eggs were then fertilised and two implanted in her womb. Both took and the couple are now looking forward to the new arrivals.

"It has already changed my life, and I feel like I've got more life in me," Raul told ABC News.

"It's just made me whole again."

Dr Philip Werthman, of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal in LA, performed the procedure.

He said: "No one is exactly sure why in many men who have a spinal cord injury the sperm quality deteriorates after the injury.

"It may well be, sitting in a wheelchair, the heat builds up - that's one theory.

"Many also develop chronic urinary tract infections, and that affects their reproductive tissues."

The couple had tried to conceive using donor sperm.

They were referred to Dr Werthman in June 2012. He removed a piece of testicular tissue through a two-inch incision in an office procedure that took just half an hour.

Two of the eight eggs that grew into five-day embryos were implanted and just 11 days later Angie discovered she was pregnant.

The baby girls are due next month and the couple are shopping for buggies and cots. The rest of the eggs have been frozen for possible future use and the pair haven't ruled out more children.

"I just want other guys in my situation to be informed," Raul said.

"I wish I had known sooner, to find that your sperm can be good."