Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) involves the surgical extraction of sperm if you suffer from a form of obstructive azoospermia. Your fertility specialist will then use the sperm to fertilize your partner's or your surrogate mother's eggs in the laboratory before the mother undergoes a fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT). Even if the mother is impregnated shortly after your procedure, you will have to take care of yourself and make sure that you're adequately recovered from the TESE surgery.
Immediately after the Procedure
You may or may not be put under general anesthesia during the procedure, but you will at least be numbed in the genital area during your sperm extraction. The procedure will last about one hour. You will most likely not have to stay overnight, but you may be kept at the clinic for a couple of hours, especially if you were under general anesthesia, in order to ensure your successful recovery. Once the anesthesia wears off, you will experience some pain and discomfort in the genital area, but your surgeon will put you on pain medication in order to decrease the pain you experience, as well as antibiotics to decrease your risk of infection.
One to Two Days after the Procedure
You should stay home from work for at least one day after the procedure, but you may not to be away from work for more than two days. Avoid heavy lifting, sexual activity or strenuous physical activity during this time. You'll be wearing a jock strap in order to support the genital area and may use an ice pack through clothing over the area. You should rest and keep your pelvis elevated for the first day.
You should arrange for someone to drive you to and from the clinic during this time. The driver should not be your partner or the surrogate mother who will be undergoing the fertility treatments, if she's undergoing her own extraction and implantation at the same time as your testicular sperm extraction.
You will continue to be on pain medication and antibiotics the first two days after the procedure. Avoid bathing or washing the genital area for two days after the procedure and change your dressings as instructed. You may notice swelling and discoloration in the area; this is normal.
The First Week
You should be able to return to work two days after the sperm extraction and can begin bathing as well, but take care to gently pat the genital area when washing it.
You should be back to complete normal activity about one week after the procedure. You may return to sexual activity, heavy lifting and vigorous physical activity and may no longer need pain medication or antibiotics once you've had your post-operative consultation around this time.
Your fertility specialist may have additional instructions to help you properly recover from testicular sperm extraction. Since the procedure is only minimally invasive, you won't have to worry about a changed lifestyle in the long run.