Surgical retrieval of sperm is a procedure whereby a small number of sperm are retrieved directly from either the epididymis or from testicles for use in an IVF cycle.
Typically, sperm retrieval is conducted in preparation for use within an IVF cycle using ICSI/IMSI and may be scheduled to correspond with a partner’s egg collection. Alternatively the procedure can be carried out ahead of time and the samples frozen prior to stimulating the female partner so as to ascertain the presence of sperm before any intervention is attempted on the woman.
The procedures will be recommended in cases where there are complications with a natural semen delivery where a man has previously had a vasectomy, has damage to his vasa deferens (the tubes carrying the sperm), or where there is an absence of the vasa deferens entirely. Your consultant may also recommend this procedure if you have a low sperm count. Your consultant will advise which procedure will be most appropriate for you.
Each of these procedures normally take less than one hour under local anaesthetic and men can leave the clinic after a short recovery period with minimal disruption to day-to-day activities. PERCUTANEOUS EPIDIDYMAL SPERM ASPIRATION (PESA) This is a straight forward procedure which is performed under local anesthetic and involves your sperm being aspirated from the tube that lies above and behind each testicle using a fine needle and syringe. The procedure is carried out by a consultant Uro-Andrologist.
TESA- This is a method where your sperm is retrieved directly from within your testicles using a fine needle to extract a small amount of fluid to enable testing for the presence of sperm.
TESE- This is when a small incision is made on the scrotum and a biopsy is taken from the testicle(s).
Your sperm will be prepared for use in an IVF cycle, including assessment for ICSI or IMSI or can be frozen for later treatments.
Men may experience some discomfort after either procedure but this can be alleviated with normal pain medication.