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.

FAQ: Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval / TESE / MicroTESE

What is Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval?
Microsurgical sperm retrieval refers to advanced surgical techniques used to obtain sperm directly from the testes or epididymis in men who have no sperm in their ejaculate. This procedure is particularly useful for men with conditions like azoospermia.

What is TESE?
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) is a procedure where a small amount of testicular tissue is removed to extract sperm. This technique is typically used when sperm production is extremely low or when there are blockages preventing sperm from being present in the ejaculate.

What is MicroTESE?
Microdissection Testicular Sperm Extraction (MicroTESE) is a more refined version of TESE. It involves using an operating microscope to identify and extract individual sperm from the testes, increasing the chances of finding viable sperm while minimizing tissue damage.

Who are candidates for TESE or MicroTESE?
Candidates for TESE or MicroTESE typically include men with nonobstructive azoospermia (where the testes produce little or no sperm) or those with obstructive azoospermia (where sperm production is normal but blocked). These procedures are also considered for men who have had a vasectomy or other surgeries affecting sperm delivery.

How are these procedures performed?
Both TESE and MicroTESE are performed under local or general anesthesia. In TESE, a small incision is made in the testicle to extract tissue. In MicroTESE, a high-powered microscope is used to identify and retrieve sperm from tiny pockets of sperm production within the testes.

Can sperm retrieved through TESE or MicroTESE be used immediately for IVF?
Yes, sperm retrieved through these procedures can be used immediately for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Alternatively, the sperm can be cryopreserved (frozen) for future use.

How do I know if TESE or MicroTESE is right for me?
Consultation with a board-certified urologist like Dr. Houman is essential. He will evaluate your medical history, conduct necessary tests, and discuss the most suitable options based on your specific condition and fertility goals.

Schedule an Appointment

Microsurgical sperm retrieval can be an effective way to produce sperm for having kids. To meet with Dr. Houman in Los Angeles 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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