What is Surgical Sperm Retrieval?
This technique is used to help couples where the male partner does not ejaculate sperm. A small number of sperm are obtained directly from the epididymis or testicles in a small surgical procedure sufficient for IVF treatment.
Who might benefit from Surgical Sperm Retrieval?
Sperm are formed in the testes and stored in the epididymis when mature. Some men produce sperm in the testis but they do not reach the ejaculate.
This can be due to:
In most cases, a trial procedure ensures sperm will be found before IVF treatment enabling us to freeze sperm for later use in some cases.
How is Surgical Sperm Retrieval performed?
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA);
Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA);
Sperm obtained are either frozen for subsequent use or prepared using a process of washing and grading. A single sperm is then injected directly into each egg in a process known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI.
Are sperm always obtained using Surgical Sperm Retrieval?
Not all patients are suitable for this technique and occasionally, no viable sperm can be recovered.
Sperm can only be obtained if the man’s testicles are producing sperm. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to predict. Hormone tests and examination can help, but a trial biopsy is the only way to be sure.
What happens if sperm are obtained?
Generally, PESA sperm can be frozen and thawed in the majority of cases, but TESA sperm does not freeze well.
What happens if sperm are not obtained?
If no sperm are found in the biopsy, IVF with ICSI will not be suitable. We will discuss all your options and alternatives including Donor Insemination in the clinic.
What happens in a PESA/TESA treatment cycle?
A PESA or TESA treatment cycle will involve the women undergoing a standard stimulated IVF cycle where the ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs.
Frozen sperm samples are simply thawed and prepared on the day of egg collection or a fresh sperm sample will be obtained around the time of egg collection if required.
Are any tests required before treatment?
Investigations are required to help predict whether sperm can be obtained at the biopsy and for the presence of any condition that could cause problems in children born from the procedure.
Y chromosome mircodeletion test
Cystic Fibrosis testing:
HIV and Hepatitis:
The female partner will also need to undergo fertility investigations before IVF treatment including;
What happens on the day of the Surgical Sperm Retrieval?
Are there any risks with Surgical Sperm Recovery?
The biopsy procedure carries a small risk of bruising and infection to the biopsy site.
How long can the sperm sample be stored?
We are able to store sperm for a maximum of 10 years.