Surgical sperm retrieval is a technique for collecting sperm from the epididymis or testis. This is performed when no sperm is present in the ejaculate.
This may be because of failure of sperm passages to develop, an obstruction in these passages or a previous male sterilisation (vasectomy). 1% to 2% of men have no sperm on ejaculation. In about 50% of these men, sperm is being made in the testicles, but a blockage prevents the sperm from entering the ejaculate. This is called obstructive azoospermia.
MESA (Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration) will be offered to you if the doctor thinks that you produce sperm, which are not being released with your ejaculate. By doing a MESA it allows us to bypass the blockage. These sperm can only be used for in vitro fertilisation treatment (IVF) so before considering MESA as a couple, you should be sure you wish to progress to IVF
Before your sample can be frozen we must screen all patients for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C as well as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Information will be given to you and written consent is required before taking the blood sample for screening. This will be done at the Fertility Clinic.
If it is found that you do carry any one of these viruses, we cannot freeze and store your sample.
If you have previously had a vasectomy, you will be charged for the storage of any sample obtained at MESA.
Complications such as bleeding or infection are rare, happening in less than 1% (1 in 100) of patients.
You may have a little bruising or tenderness for 24 to 48 hours.
Chances of obtaining sperm from a MESA are over 70%. If enough sperm cells are found then they can be frozen, stored and used to do ICSI in a future IVF cycle.
If you would like any further information regarding surgical sperm retrieval, please get in touch. One of the team will be happy to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.