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Surgical sperm retrieval

Sperm extraction

A procedure where sperm are surgically retrieved for use in a cycle of ICSI to allow a chance of successful conception

About

If you are part of the 1% of men suffering from azoospermia (where there is no sperm in the ejaculate) you may require sperm to be surgically retrieved so it can be used in a cycle of ICSI. Sperm can be retrieved from two areas; the epididymis and the testicle.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    If your consultant decides that sperm is to be retrieved from the epididymis there are two options. PESA (Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration): This is performed under local anaesthetic. Sperm is taken using a fine needle and syringe. MESA (Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration): This requires a general anaesthetic. It allows direct microscopic visualisation of the epididymis for sperm aspiration. If sperm is to be retrieved from the testicle there is one procedure. TESE (Testicular sperm extraction): This requires a general anaesthetic. Biopsies are taken from the testicle to find small numbers of sperm for treatment.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    On the day of the procedure wear loose and comfortable clothing. If general anaesthetic is used during the procedure you may need to fast for several hours beforehand. Your consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking for. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side-effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    The material collected will be examined and you will be advised on the same day about the quality of your sperm - and whether there is any sperm present. Any material containing sperm can either be frozen, or the collection can be timed to coincide with ovarian stimulation, with a consultant on stand-by on the day of egg collection. You should be able to return home on the same day following treatment. Prescribed pain medication can be taken as directed by your consultant.

Don't wait, pay for yourself

You don’t need health insurance to have fast access to our top consultants, extensive range of treatments, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures at our world-class facilities.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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