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Types of infertility treatment - Surgical sperm retrieval

The Private Healthcare UK guide to infertility treatment contains articles on infertility and IVF treatment which are aimed at improving your knowledge of treatments for infertility, their benefits and potential risks.



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Surgical sperm retrieval may be necessary in cases of impaired sperm production, an obstruction or congenital absence of the vas.

It is possible to extract sperm through a very fine needle directly from the epididymis (PESA - Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration) or the testes (TESA - Testicular Sperm Aspiration) providing live sperm are being produced. Alternatively, if sperm are not found, a sample of tissue (testicular biopsy) can be taken from the testes through a small incision (TESE – Testicular Sperm Extraction). Two or three stitches are placed in the skin which self-dissolve in about ten days.

Once the sperm have been collected, fertilisation is achieved using Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which involves injecting a single sperm directly into the egg. Excess sperm from the sample can be frozen for future use.


In this guide

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