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Surgical sperm retrieval

Sperm extraction treatment

In conception, sperm is required to fertilise the egg. However, there are some conditions that mean men are unable to produce healthy sperm or they may produce less sperm than is considered normal. Men who cannot produce enough healthy sperm (or any sperm at all) will be unable to conceive through sexual intercourse. This is known as male infertility.

If you are diagnosed with male infertility, there are multiple fertility treatments available that can help make having your own family possible. Surgical sperm retrieval is one of the most common assisted reproductive techniques and is one we specialise in at TFP.

Sperm retrieval procedure

All sperm retrieval procedures we perform at TFP are carried out under sedation combined with the use of a local anaesthetic. The whole procedure only requires a few hours of recovery in the clinic, and you will be advised on the same day about the results of the sperm analysis.

The sperm retrieval processes we use are as follows:

  • PESA (percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration) - This is the collection of sperm directly from the epididymis, where the sperm is stored.

  • TESE (testicular sperm extraction) - This is the collection of sperm from a biopsy or several biopsies from the testicular tissue.

Once the sperm has been retrieved, it will either be used immediately in fertility treatments or it will be frozen and placed in storage for use at a later stage. If the sperm retrieval has been successful, it can be used for several cycles of treatment.

Surgical sperm retrieval recovery

The surgical sperm retrieval side effects are very rare. However, some men may experience minor bruising and swelling of the scrotum. As a result, you will be advised to avoid strenuous activity after the procedure. You will be prescribed pain medication to help ease you through your recovery, and you may be given antibiotics to take before or after the procedure to help lower the risk of infection. Most men can return to work within 24 to 48 hours. However, any strenuous activities are best avoided for 5 to 10 days.

When is surgical sperm retrieval recommended?

Surgical sperm retrieval is carried out when pregnancy is the goal but it is unlikely to occur without fertility treatment. Surgical sperm retrieval may be an option for men with the following difficulties:

  • An obstruction in the tubes, due to injury or infection, preventing sperm release

  • Vasectomy

  • Congenital absence of the vas deferens (men who are born without the tube that drains the sperm from the testicles)

  • When the testes are producing such low numbers of sperm that they don’t reach the vas deferens

If the sperm retrieval has been successful, it will be used with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Sperm retrieval for obstructive azoospermia

Obstructive azoospermia is a common cause of male infertility and can result from an infection, an injury, or a birth defect. It is defined as the absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate, despite the spermatogenesis being healthy.

Non-obstructive Azoospermia

Men with non-obstructive azoospermia might have a sperm production problem and may not make any sperm at all. Alternatively, the sperm might be made in such low levels that there simply aren’t enough of them to appear in the ejaculate. If healthy sperm can’t be realised naturally through orgasm, surgical sperm retrieval may be necessary.

Surgical sperm retrieval -Definition

Surgical sperm retrieval is a fertility treatment option that assists couples in conception. Sperm that has been retrieved surgically can either be used immediately for fertilisation or frozen and stored for future fertility treatments. This treatment allows men to father their own genetic offspring through the fertility treatment known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The aim of extracting sperm is:

  • To obtain the best quality sperm

  • To minimise injury to the testicle and reproductive tract

  • To obtain enough sperm for immediate fertility use or for freezing.

Surgical sperm retrieval cost

The cost of surgical sperm retrieval depends on numerous factors, including the following:

  • The type of procedure required

  • Where the procedure is being carried out

  • How long the procedure will take

  • Whether sperm are being used fresh or frozen for later use.

If you would like to know how much sperm retrieval will cost for you, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to advise you.

What happens if no sperm are found?

It is rare for no sperm to be found during a surgical sperm retrieval procedure. However, there is always a chance that the process will not be successful. In cases where no sperm are found, this can be emotionally draining and disappointing for you and your partner. So, we recommend that you discuss this possibility with each other and our specialists before the procedure.

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