Sperm Retrieval Explained
Sperm Retrieval Explained

What Is Sperm Retrieval?

Sperm retrieval is performed usually either in conjunction with a cycle of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), or alternatively may be performed in isolation.

The process locates and removes the sperm from the male testicles and is performed in several cases including if a patient has an obstruction or blockage in his tubules.

In addition, men who have had a vasectomy and do not want to undergo a vasectomy reversal may choose to have a sperm retrieval operation.

Sperm retrieval is often recommended when pregnancy is desired but not possible without medical help.

This may mean it is for couples where the man has little or no sperm in the semen, or if the man isn’t able to ejaculate.

To achieve pregnancy, sperm retrieval is performed along with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

What does the procedure involve?

There are three sperm retrieval procedures a patient can undergo.

Percutaneous sperm aspiration (PESA)

A Percutaneous sperm aspiration, or PESA, is performed when there is a blockage or when patients do not want to undergo a vasectomy reversal.

This procedure can typically be completed using a local anaesthetic.

Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA)

A testicular sperm aspiration, or TESA, is performed when a man has a blockage or for those who suffer from non-obstructive azoospermia.

With this method, the sperm is retrieved when a needle is inserted into the sperm tubules and extracted.

Micro epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA)

Micro epididymal sperm aspiration, or MESA, can be done in the case of a PESA procedure having failed previously. MESA is performed under a microscope, with a small incision is made and sperm is extracted from fine tubules that contain sperm.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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