Micro Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) is where sperm is aspirated directly under vision from the epididymis. This is either performed as a procedure on its own when a PESA has failed and an open procedure needs to be performed, or alternatively it is performed at the time of potential reconstructive surgery where a small incision is made on the very fine sperm tubes or epididymal tubules under a microscope.

The sperm can be aspirated and either stored or used at the same time for ISCI treatment.

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Surgical sperm retrieval is for individuals who do not have sperm in their ejaculation. A fine cut is made on the epididymis to extract sperm surgically. Any sperm retrieved can be used in an immediate ICSI cycle or frozen to be used in the future. There are many ways for a skilled practitioner to retrieve sperm for fertility purposes. And MESA is one such treatment.

It requires great skill on the surgeon’s part and the patient would need to be under a general anaesthetic.

However, the procedure is a common one for those who need assistance with conceiving.


MESA will be offered to you if Prof Minhas thinks you can produce sperm. The sperm collected can only be used for ICSI. Therefore, it is important you want to proceed to this procedure.

It is also very important for patients to be prepared for the non-retreival of sperm as well. This doesn’t rule out further procedures being successful, however.

Before the procedure, all patients are tested for Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV), as well as Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. This will require you to sign a consent form before screening the sample.

If you are diagnosed with any of these health problems, your sperm will be frozen in storage that is separated from other samples.

Talk to us in more detail about concerns you might have.


After any procedure to retrieve sperm, there is a recovery period of a few days to a week. You are advised to avoid activity that would be strenuous. Strong supportive underwear is highly recommended too.

A prescription for the pain will be issued and patients can experience any of the following problems following surgery – bleeding, infection or pain.

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Use the secure form to send a message regarding any concerns you may have. Should you have any information regarding a referral from a GP please also include this and we will be in touch with next steps.

18 Devonshire Street, London W1G 7AF

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