Safe, Painless Sperm Retrieval for IVF or IUI
It’s not uncommon for men to produce ejaculate that doesn’t contain sperm. This is a condition known as azoospermia, and in many cases, we can easily treat it in our offices. The procedure is minimally invasive and relatively painless.
Retrieving Sperm with Sperm Aspiration
Azoospermia can be either obstructive or non-obstructive. In obstructive azoospermia, there’s something physically blocking the reproductive tract. Often this is due to a vasectomy or a structural anomaly. Non-obstructive azoospermia, which is typically caused by some kind of testicular or hormonal impairment, occurs when no sperm is being created. At Indiana Fertility Institute, we provide comprehensive treatment options for both types of azoospermia.
What Sperm Retrieval Can Do For You
For any man struggling with conception, sperm retrieval (otherwise known as microsurgical sperm aspiration) can help. It doesn’t matter if the underlying cause is physical or genetic – the procedure works with any form of male factor infertility. Benefits include:
- Consistently high success rates
- Painless procedure
- Over and done in 10 minutes
- Works with both IVF and IUI
Microsurgical Sperm Aspiration Basics
The term microsurgical sperm aspiration is used to describe a variety of techniques used to retrieve a patient’s sperm from the testes, vas deferens, or epididymis. In the case of obstructive azoospermia, mature sperm is usually extracted from the epididymis, which is a narrow tube that connects the vas deferens to the testes. In the case of non-obstructive azoospermia, sperm are typically retrieved directly from the testicles.
Once extracted, the sperm can be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or cryopreserved. If using the sperm for IVF, we ideally will coordinate the sperm retrieval procedure to line up with the egg retrieval step. We also utilize a process known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which is an advanced fertility treatment option that involves injecting a single sperm straight into an egg using a very fine needle.
Your Options for Sperm Retrieval Methods
Once we’ve confirmed that a patient has male factor infertility, we can connect you with a urologist to help determine the most appropriate procedure for the patient’s specific case. Based on the urologist’s assessment, the fertility doctors of Indiana Fertility Institute can conduct the procedure that is best for you. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. There is very little pain and discomfort associated with sperm aspiration, and recovery time is typically easy and straightforward.
Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA)
The MESA method gathers sperm by aspirating fluid from the epididymis. By inserting a thin needle into the scrotum, we apply some gentle suction to extract an appropriate amount of sperm. This is the primary technique used for obstructive azoospermia.
Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)
In the TESA method, a thin needle is inserted directly into the testes to gently extract and analyze a sample of testicular tissue. If no sperm is found, we’ll take a testicular biopsy through a tiny incision in the scrotum and testes. From there, sperm can be successfully retrieved. This is the primary technique used for non-obstructive azoospermia.
Is Sperm Retrieval Right for You?
Everyone is different. That’s why our approach is highly personalized. Talk one-on-one with one of our fertility specialists to find out if sperm retrieval is right for you.