What to Expect During a Testicular Sperm Extraction Procedure

If you want to start a family, but are facing an infertility issue, whether due to a vasectomy or another medical issue, there are many ways we can bypass normal channels and extract sperm closer to the source.

At the Center for Vasectomy and Vasectomy Reversal, a part of New Jersey Urology, Dr. Eric Seaman and our team specialize in sperm extraction, helping our patients in the Millburn, New Jersey, area overcome fertility issues to build the families of their dreams.

Here’s a look at some of the more common methods for extracting your sperm and why your circumstances dictate which avenue we take.

The journey of sperm

Before we get into sperm extraction, it may be helpful to quickly review how sperm normally travels. Your sperm is produced in your testicles, and it then moves into your epididymis, a coiled structure inside your scrotum, to await use.

When the signal comes for release, the sperm travels through your vas deferens, which join your ejaculatory ducts and mixes with semen. When ejaculation occurs, the sperm and the semen exit your penis through your urethra.

During this short journey, your sperm can encounter problems along the way (a vasectomy that blocks your vas deferens, for example), preventing your sperm from joining your ejaculate, a condition we call obstructive azoospermia. With nonobstructive azoospermia, the problem is within your testes and in the production of sperm.

The many ways to retrieve sperm

Because your sperm needs to pass through several different channels to become part of ejaculation, problems can arise anywhere along the way in terms of blockages, or even an inability to produce enough sperm right at the source.

If you want to start a family, but your semen is too low in sperm count, or bereft of sperm entirely, we can go in and harvest your sperm using the following techniques:

Testicular sperm aspiration

If you have a blockage, we can withdraw your sperm directly from your testicles in a quick and easy in-office procedure. Using local anesthesia for your comfort, we simply insert a needle into your testicle and draw out sperm.

Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration

If you’ve had a vasectomy, we can go in and retrieve sperm from your epididymis using the same technique described above.

Microdissection testicular sperm extraction (microTESE)

This technique is fast becoming the preferred sperm retrieval method for men who are both azoospermic and who are having problems with sperm production. During this procedure, Dr. Seaman places you under general anesthesia, and then he makes a small incision in your testicle. Using microsurgical techniques, Dr. Seaman extracts testicular tissue to obtain the most mature and viable sperm.

This innovative technique boosts your chances for success as Dr. Seaman observes the tissue under a microscope to ensure the presence of sperm during the procedure.

A microTESE also minimizes any collateral damage because of its precision and accuracy.

When you come in, we sit down with you to review your fertility problems and figure out which technique is best for your unique situation. In many cases, we coordinate our efforts with your partner’s egg retrieval for in vitro fertilization. We can also cryopreserve your semen for future use.

To learn more about sperm extraction, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call at (973) 259-6695 to schedule an appointment, or use the book online feature on our website.

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