Sperm Retrieval for IVF or IUI

A pain-free method

Sperm Retrieval for IVF or IUI

Azoospermia is a very common condition in which a man’s ejaculate does not contain sperm. Our fertility clinic can easily treat many causes for this condition with a minimally invasive and painless procedure.

Why Sperm Aspiration is Used

There are two types of azoospermia: obstructive and non-obstructive. Obstructive azoospermia means there is some anatomical blockage in the reproductive tract. We see this most often in men who have had a vasectomy or a congenital-birth defect. Non-obstructive azoospermia means there is no sperm being produced. Our doctors can work with both types of patients to figure out the best treatment path forward.

  • The Benefits of Sperm Retrieval

    Sperm retrieval, also called microsurgical sperm aspiration, is ideal for men who have difficulty with conception or otherwise would not be able to conceive, whether it’s physical or genetic. This is called male factor infertility. In addition, the procedure has several other benefits:

    • High success rates in patients
    • Relatively painless procedure
    • Takes approximately 10 minutes
    • Can be used for IVF and IUI

    Pregnant woman
  • What is Microsurgical Sperm Aspiration?

    Microsurgical sperm aspiration is any procedure designed to extract sperm from a patient, whether from the epididymis, testis or vas deferens. For men who have obstructive azoospermia, a doctor will extract mature sperm from the patient, typically from the epididymis (the tube that connects the testes to the vas deferens). For men with a non-obstructive type, your doctor will extract tissue from the testis directly.

    If possible, procedures are timed to coincide with the egg retrieval step during the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle but can also be frozen for future use. Because the surgically retrieved sperm are immature, fertilization is achieved by injecting selected sperm directly into the egg by a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The extraction of sperm typically results in enough sperm to allow several IVF cycles.

    Nurse in clinic

How Different Sperm Retrieval Procedures Work

If we identify that a patient has male factor infertility, we will recommend them to see a urologist prior to surgery to determine the best approach for retrieving sperm for that particular patient. There are several procedures our office can do, depending on the urologist’s recommendation, and each can be performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia to eliminate any pain or discomfort.

Sperm Retrieval Procedures
  • 1

    Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA)

    MESA collects sperm by aspirating fluid from the epididymis of the male reproductive tract. A fine needle is inserted through the scrotum into the epididymis and sperm are obtained by gentle suction. This procedure is used for cases of obstructive azoospermia.

  • 2

    Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)

    TESA is where a fine needle is inserted into the testis and a sample of testicular tissue is obtained by gentle suction and examined under the microscope. If sperm from the testicles are not found, a small tissue sample (what we call a testicular biopsy) is taken through a small incision in the scrotum and testis, where sperm can then be extracted. This procedure is used for cases of non-obstructive azoospermia.

Find Out if Sperm Extraction is the Right Treatment for You

Fertility is personal—your care should be, too. If you’re interested in exploring your options, request a consultation with one of our fertility specialists. Let’s make a baby, together. 

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