Bath Fertility

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Conceived at Bath Fertility

Surgical Sperm Retrieval

When do you carry out surgical sperm retrieval?

If for some reason there are no sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) we are able to perform a minor procedure to retrieve sperm directly from the scrotum.

In cases of obstructive azoospermia (eg. after an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal) there is a good chance of recovering sperm directly from the testis.  In other cases (eg. unexplained azoospermia) it is often possible to recover sperm, although in a small proportion of these cases no sperm is found and this may indicate a lack of sperm production due to other causes.

For surgically retrieved sperm, ICSI treatment is required due to the relatively low numbers and motility.

samples tubes in a rack

PESA: Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration

PESA is a procedure where a fine needle is inserted into the head of the epididymis and some fluid withdrawn or aspirated, for examination by the embryologist. The epididymis is a small sac like structure next to the testis. If no sperm are found using this technique then a TESE procedure is performed.

TESE: Testicular Sperm Extraction

TESE is a procedure where some small biopsies (tiny pieces of tissue) are taken from the testis, for dissection and examination under a microscope.

Both PESA and TESE are carried out using a local anaesthetic and sedation at Bath Fertility. The sperm retrieved can either be frozen for use at a later date or used fresh. This will be discussed with you with your fertility specialist.