Sperm Retrieval

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Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) and testicular sperm extraction (TESE) are simple procedures for obtaining sperm for men who have obstructive azoospermia, such as men who have undergone a vasectomy. In these men, sperm is not able to reach the semen because of the blockage, even though they have normal sperm production. These procedures can also be utilized in men who cannot ejaculate due to ejaculatory dysfunction or erectile dysfunction.

In couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriages or IVF failures, sometimes the men are found to have high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation. Since testicular sperm tends to have lower levels of DNA fragmentation compared to sperm from the semen, occasionally we will perform TESA or TESE to obtain sperm directly from the testicle.

Sperm can also be retrieved directly from the epididymis through procedures called percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) and microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA). TESA, TESE, and PESA are typically performed under local anesthesia or conscious sedation. MESA is typically performed under general anesthesia.

In men with non-obstructive azoospermia, there is no sperm in the ejaculate but the testes may produce small amounts of sperm. Microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE) is a surgical procedure in which the tubules in the testes are selectively extracted under a microscope in order to search for sperm in a systematic way.

*Any sperm retrieved from these procedures can only be used for IVF.

Sperm Retrieval Techniques

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