To diagnose the causes of infertility and to begin infertility treatments, a sample of sperm must be provided to allow doctors to make a semen analysis. Most men have enough sperm in their semen for male infertility testing. However, some men do not ejaculate enough or any sperm in their semen. If natural ejaculation of sperm is not possible, infertility specialists use three varying methods to retrieve sperm for infertility tests and treatments.
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspifertiration (PESA)
The least invasive of sperm retrieval methods, PESA is used if the semen itself does not contain any sperm (non-obstructive azoospermia). It is a quick procedure that is generally painless and can be performed with local anesthetic. PESA involves sperm cells being removed via a long needle inserted through the scrotum.
Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)
The most common form of sperm retrieval is used for males who have a blockage that prevents the sperm moving into the testis and being ejaculated. TESA is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed under general anesthetic. Testicular tissue is removed using a long needle and specialists extract the sperm from this tissue.
Microepididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA)
Using microsurgery technology, specialists extract fluid from the epididymal tube which connects to the testis. Sperm is then extracted from this fluid. The procedure involves a small incision in the scrotum and is performed under general anesthetic.
The method of sperm retrieval used depends on the male's condition and his male infertility factor.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.