Men who face an obstruction that prevents sperm release which could be because of an infection or an injury need to go for a surgery. The other reason why men may have to get operated is because of a congenital absence of vas deferens. These men are born without a tube that helps to drain the sperm from the testicle. In the case of a vasectomy or in the case of a non-obstructive azoospermia where the testicles produce a very low number of sperms that do not reach the vas the surgery for retrieving sperms need to be performed.
In such cases, surgical sperm retrival may be the only option to treat the Infertility in men. The first three conditions are where the sperms are produced but because of the blockage or the absence of the vas, it cannot be ejaculated. The man will still be able to ejaculate the seminal fluid but this will not contain any sperm. However, it is still possible to collect the sperm from the epididymis.
It may also be sometimes possible to unblock the tube that carries sperms for ejaculation. This process, however, has a low rate of success. In the case of a vasectomy surgery for correction, a treatment is offered for vasectomy reversal. In the case of an azoospermia where there is less or no sperms at all, the low quality of sperms may be possible to be collected from the testes. This is done by doing multiple biopsies at random where the biopsy is sent to the lab for analysis to check the cause of the problem. The chances of obtaining sperm are high in this method for those who have an obstructive azoospermia, for those who have a non-obstructive azoospermia the chances of getting sperms are low to almost 40%.
The various technique used for sperm collection are
- PESA – this stands for Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration where the sperm is collected from the epididymis using a fine needle. Here the sperm is stored after it gets formed in the testes.
- TESE – this stands for Testicular sperm extraction where the sperm is collected from a biopsy from the testicular tissue after a small incision is made in the scrotal skin
The above methods of sperm collection are done under general anaesthesia along with local anaesthesia. One requires only a few hours of hospitalization and the material is collected and analysed and you will be told about the sperm quality on that very day. These materials are then frozen and then thawed and these are then used for use at a later stage.
The techniques are less invasive these days and sperm retrieval can help even when the sperm count is very low. The primary methods of sperm retrieval are MESA, TESE, PESA, TESA and MicroTESE and these methods are used with the IVF process. The retrieval of the sperm is a surgical method and surgery is performed to collect the sperm from the male reproductive tract. The surgery helps to collect the viable sperms from the epididymis or the testis and when it is used in IVF or ICSI it can let even infertile men have children.