Sperm Aspiration Works
Couples who are currently undergoing or are planning to try in vitro fertilization (IVF) may need to undergo sperm retrieval if sperm aren’t in the semen. Men with little or no semen, as well as men who can’t ejaculate, can struggle with fertility. Sperm aspiration techniques can increase the chances of fertilizing an egg. Several sperm retrieval procedures can collect sperm from the reproductive tract.
What is PESA?
Patients will be under general anesthesia during percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). A surgical incision is not required. Instead, a small needle is introduced into the head of the epididymis duct and used to aspirate a sample. A doctor will then analyze the sample under a microscope to identify any viable sperm for IVF.
What is TESA?
During testicular sperm aspiration (TESA), the male patient will be under local anesthesia. A needle is inserted in the testicle, and tissue and sperm are aspirated. The acquired tissue is minced and examined for sperm. TESA procedures are often timed to coincide with a female partner’s egg retrieval.
Sperm aspiration helps male infertility
PESA and TESA procedures help some instances of male infertility. Male partners that have undergone a vasectomy are prime candidates for sperm aspiration. Qualifying men may not want to get a vasectomy reversal or may have had an unsuccessful reversal. Men with blockages in the reproductive tract or a lack of sperm, also called azoospermia, can benefit from the sperm retrieval process.
What surgery is best for you?
A doctor or urologist will evaluate the male partner to determine which sperm aspiration procedure, if any, is ideal for the situation. Both TESA and PESA are performed under general anesthesia and have a similar recovery plan. If no sperm are found during extraction, couples may consider donor sperm for IVF.
What happens after sperm aspiration?
Once retrieved from the reproductive system, sperm are cleaned and prepared in an IVF lab. Immature sperm aren’t able to penetrate an egg, requiring a doctor to inject the sperm into the female partner’s eggs using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Sperm aspiration is timed with a partner’s egg retrieval process to streamline the fertilization process and increase the chance of conception. For more information about sperm aspiration and infertility treatment options, speak with a fertility specialist.