TESE: Who Is Eligible?
TESE is a procedure which involves the harvesting of sperm directly from a man’s testicles. Typically, it is performed if no sperm is found in a man’s semen. It may also be performed if a man has a blockage which is preventing his sperm from passing from his penis during ejaculation.
During the procedure, a sample of tissue is removed from the testicles and sent to a sperm bank. If the tissue sample contains sperm, it will be stored using cryopreservation (freezing). Men may have this procedure done during an IVF cycle, or before cancer treatment, in case they wish to have a biological child when the treatment is over.
TESE: what to expect
TESE is performed using a local anesthetic. The doctor will make a small incision in the testicles and remove a tissue sample. MicroTESE is becoming increasingly popular as a replacement for traditional TESE for men who have no sperm in their semen.
MicroTESE involves the removal of testicular tubules. Once the sample has been removed, it is placed in a petri dish as cleaned with a sperm wash medium. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for sperm.
Beyond TESE: other forms of sperm collection
There are other methods of sperm collection, these include:
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA). This method of sperm collection is typically used for men who are having sperm harvested for IVF treatment and who are suffering from obstructive azoospermia which is caused by a prior infection or a vasectomy. It is performed with a local anesthetic and coordinated with the man’s partner’s egg retrieval.
Microepididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) is another form of sperm collection. This method is typically performed on men who have an obstruction caused by a vasectomy or a congenital problem with the sperm duct. MESA may be performed as a scheduled procedure or in coordination with egg retrieval for an IVF cycle. It is usually performed under general anesthesia with the aid of an operating microscope. Unlike other techniques, MESA allows for a more widespread collection of sperm.