Surgical sperm retrieval

July 21, 2018

The Male Reproductive System

The male testicles are meant to carry out two functions. They are; production of the hormone called testosterone and production of sperm. The average time taken to produce mature sperm is about 2-3 months. However, every day, millions of sperms become mature. The new sperms push them back into the collecting channels, i.e. the rete testis and efferent ducts. Finally, they will reach the epididymis. When the sperm travels down the epididymis, it becomes more mature and develops complete motility before reaching the vas deferens. The Vas deference is like the head office, where all the mature and motile sperm is stored. Its main function is to ejaculate the aged sperm.

Why Surgical Sperm Retrieval a necessity?

Also known as Surgical Sperm Recovery (SSR), it is an extremely beneficial procedure. What happens in some men is that they are unable to ejaculate. This is usually because of obstructions caused by reasons such as vasectomy, scarring, previous surgeries, and even the absence of the vas deferens by birth. But, since the sperm gets collected in the epididymis, it is possible to extract them using a fine needle. Another problem that can occur is the lack of sperm production in the testicles, known as a spermatogenic failure.

There may be the very small amount of sperms present in the semen. However, it can be directly collected from the testicles. However, if the sperm collection is low, then standard IVF is not possible, and one will have to go for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). For a complete consultation and diagnosis, always choose the best. At Apollo fertility, you will come across the most qualified and expert specialists, who will offer the perfect solution.

How does it work?

• For the couples undergoing the Tesa IVF treatment, SSR is performed on the same day as the egg retrieval.

• The patient is given general anesthesia and it is a day-case procedure.

• From midnight until the time till the procedure begins, the patient is not supposed to consume any food or drink any liquids.

• The patient will be discharged from the hospital in about 6 hours.

• To resume the normal physical activities, the patient will have to wait for 4-5 days. And, maybe longer if the doctor says so.

• Also, post-procedure, the patient will have to wear suitable underpants, such as a jock strap to avoid discomfort and protect their scrotum and testicles.

• The doctor will choose the method of sperm recovery depending on the problem of the patient. For instance, it is a blockage, the doctor will use a thin needle to collect the sperm from the epididymis. And, this technique is called PESA or Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration. If PESA fails, the doctor will then opt for a biopsy of the testicular tissue. And, this process is known as TESE or Testicular Sperm Extraction.

• During TESE, the doctor makes a small incision in the scrotum to reach the testes.

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