Many men with infertility issues have several options to choose from when it comes to having children, such as testicular sperm extraction, also known as TESE. Unless you or someone you know has undergone TESE, then you may not be fully aware of some of the facts about testicular sperm extraction. Below some of the most common facts about TESE.
1. Surgical Process to Enhance Ejaculation
Testicular sperm extraction is the surgical process of removing specific tissue from the testes to obtain spermatozoon-active sperm. This type of sperm extraction procedure is used when men are unable to ejaculate due to a spinal cord injury or some sort of obstruction in their reproductive system. One such disorder is called azoospermia, in which the sperm to be ejaculated is redirected to the bladder due to the sphincter in the bladder opening during orgasm. Other reasons include men who have had certain cancers or cancer treatments that have the left their ejaculate free of sperm.
Many reasons can cause a man to be unable to ejaculate or furthermore, be able to ejaculate viable sperm. The active sperm cells found in the tissue obtained during the TESE are used to fertilize a woman's egg. This type of Assisted Reproductive Technique is often used when other techniques that are less invasive have failed.
2. Procedure Is Painless
The initial TESE procedure is painless because the area being biopsied is numb. Once the anesthetics have worn off, there could be some mild to moderate pain in the scrotal area.
3. Live Sperm Are Used or Froze
If live active sperm are found in the biopsy, the spermatozoa will either be immediately used or froze. When the sperm are immediately used, the female partner will be injected with the sperm cell. Just one single spermatozoon can impregnate a female.
4. Can Be Costly
Testicular Sperm Extraction can be costly. Many factors go into the cost. You must factor in the medical services provided, supplies used, anesthesiologists, lab work, and whether the sperm tissue will need to be frozen or not. The cost can range from $5,000 to upwards of $15,000.
5. Insurance May Not Cover Procedure
Some insurance plans do in fact cover not only the testing, but also the procedure, freezing of the sperm cells (if necessary), and possibly the IVF or ICIS for the female partner. Study your policy or plan ahead of time if this is something you seriously are considering. If your current coverage does not cover this, it may be time to switch policies and get one that does.
This shortlist of facts may answer some of your most commonly asked questions about sperm extraction, but it will be a discussion with your physician that will give you the greatest insight to what TESE can do for you and your partner. Success rates vary for both the viability of the sperm extracted, as well as the receptiveness of the female egg to be fertilized. It is important to keep a realistic expectation when deciding if testicular sperm extraction is right for you.