Several factors could lead to male factor infertility, azoospermia, a condition in which sperms are not found in the ejaculate. In fact, data show nearly 15% of male infertility related cases may be azoospermia-driven. Thanks to new-age technologies like testicular sperm aspiration, this condition can be fully addressed, and the person in question has every chance to father a child. However, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is usually required to achieve pregnancy for such cases.
What is TESA?
TESA or testicular sperm aspiration is a procedure in which sperm is retrieved from the testis or epididymis, following a simple process. Typically conducted in men with azoospermia, TESA is known to be a safe sperm retrieval technique. Before TESA came into picture, reconstructive surgery and doner insemination were the only choices a couple had to proceed with pregnancy.
Who is TESA recommended for?
TESA is typically an option for men with obstructive azoospermia where it is expected that sperm will be found easily.
How long does the procedure take?
A relatively minor procedure, the entire process takes up to 10 minutes. It is always performed after administering local sedatives.
What happens during the procedure?
During the procedure, a needle is inserted into the testes and fluid and tissue are extracted using negative pressure. This sample is then taken to the laboratory, where sperm cells are extracted using intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This technique helps in retrieving a single sperm and directly injecting it into the egg. Following this process, the retrieved sperm can be used in an IVF-ICSI cycle— the retrieved sperm is washed and prepared in the IVF lab, and then injected directly into the partner’s eggs using intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Additional sperm retrieved through TESA are given for sperm freezing to be used late, if required.
Is TESA painful?
Since the person in question is sedated before performing this highly complex procedure, no pain is felt during the procedure. However, it can leave some discomfort afterwards. In instances where TESA does not yield the desired results, a testicular biopsy must be performed.
Should you consider sperm retrieval though TESA?
A minimally invasive procedure, sperm retrieval through TESA has proven effective at getting viable sperm for use in in vitro fertilization. However, before stating this procedure, ascertaining the accurate diagnosis to uncover the specific cause of infertility is of utmost importance.