There are many reasons you might not be able to impregnate your partner. If you have plans to have children, then microsurgical sperm retrieval is a viable way to extract sperm with the expertise of your board-certified urologist.

What is Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval?

Microsurgical sperm extraction is a way to preserve sperm cells for use in pregnancy. It uses advanced microsurgery to extract sperm directly from the testicles where it can be processed and introduced to your partner’s eggs through in-vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. In some cases, it can be frozen for later use. There are a few other types of sperm retrieval including:

  • Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA)
  • Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA)
  • Testicular sperm extraction (TESE)
  • Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA)

During your consultation with your urologist, you’ll determine the right option for you and your partner based on your goals.

Is Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval Right for Me?

Men with azoospermia, or no sperm in their ejaculate, can benefit most from microsurgical sperm retrieval if they want to have kids. Anejaculation (absence of ejaculate) or retrograde ejaculation (ejaculate goes into the bladder) can also be reasons to explore microsurgical sperm retrieval if you want to have kids. Finally, if you’ve had a vasectomy but your odds for a successful reversal procedure are low, microsurgical sperm retrieval can be an effective option if you want to have kids.

What Can I Expect From Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval?

Microsurgical sperm retrieval is performed in an operating room with general anesthesia. During the procedure, your urologist will use a high-powered microscope for a clearer view of the area. The outer tissue of the testicle is opened and your urologist will locate the areas with the highest likelihood of sperm production. Once the sperm is retrieved, the area will be closed with sutures. Overall, the process can take up to a few hours depending on how easily your urologist can locate viable sperm.

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Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval Results and Recovery

You should plan to give yourself at least a few days of recovery time after your procedure. During this time, make sure to apply ice packs or bags of frozen peas to the area to help with swelling. You’ll also be given antibiotics and painkilling medications to take according to instructions. You may be able to return to work within 24-48 hours, depending on your job. If your job is labor-intensive, you should plan to take 5-10 days off. During this time, you’ll need to limit your activity level and focus on resting – your urologist can give you the best idea of when to return to your normal physical activities or workouts.

Schedule an Appointment

Microsurgical sperm retrieval can be an effective way to produce sperm for having kids. To meet with Dr. Houman and learn more about your fertility options, contact our office by calling (310) 854-7822 or filling out our online form.

Male Fertility: Optimize Your Sperm Health

An expert in his field

Meet Dr. Houman

Dr. Justin Houman is a board-certified, fellowship-trained Urologist and Men’s Health specialist whose mission is to enhance men’s quality of life by improving their sexual and reproductive health. Dr. Houman’s focus is on making a difference in people’s lives through state-of-the-art, compassionate, and personally tailored care.


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