How Does Sperm Extraction Help Infertility?
For couples struggling with fertility issues, sperm retrieval may be an option for conceiving a child. Sperm retrieval is a fertility treatment used for men with little to no sperm in the semen. Typically, a man releases millions of sperm during ejaculation. These sperm cells travel through the vaginal canal to fertilize an egg resulting in an embryo. However, some men have a low sperm count. Some of these men have trouble producing sperm which makes conception difficult. Therefore, doctors must perform medical procedures to retrieve the sperm directly from the body.
TESA stands for testicular sperm aspiration. This fertility technique extracts sperm directly from the testes. The testicles are a holding place for sperm and, during ejaculation, sperm travels from the testicles to the urethra. With this process, healthcare providers use a long, thin needle to extract sperm from the testes. TESA with mapping is a similar technique that requires providers to extract tissue samples from the testes.
What is TESE and microTESE?
Testicular sperm extraction can be broken down into 2 groups: TESE and microTESE. Fertility specialists perform TESE by making an incision in the testes and examining the tubules for sperm cells. Then, the sperm is extracted and/or stored away for future use. With the microTESE procedures, providers use a microscope to examine the tubules to select the ones with a higher concentration of sperm cells.
The difference between TESE and TESA
Both procedures are used in preparation for an IVF cycle. IVF cycles last for a few months and doctors use extracted sperm to fertilize the egg and implant the embryo into the uterus. The success rate of an IVF cycle depends on several factors. TESE and TESA success rates vary. TESE is more of an invasive procedure that requires at least a day of downtime. Doctors inspect the inner tubes of the testicles to find sperm. Although TESA is similar, doctors extract larger sperm samples and take sperm cells from the samples for TESE.
To learn what procedure is best for a patient’s needs, schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider. The provider will be able to conduct tests to learn more about the patient’s medical condition and take the appropriate steps to form a treatment plan.