Testicular Sperm Extraction: Long Term Effects

Scientists debate the long term effects of testicular sperm extraction (TESE). If you're considering the procedure, you should be aware of the potential long term effects on your body as well as the kind of lifestyle you'll most likely be living following the procedure.

Long Term Lifestyle Effects

Testicular sperm extraction actually has virtually no effect on your lifestyle in the long term. You'll need to rest, refrain from bathing and stay home from work for one to two days after the procedure. You will also have to refrain from heavy lifting, vigorous physical activity and sexual activity for upwards of one to two weeks after your surgery. After that, however, you will most likely notice no impact on your lifestyle or on your sexual activity.

You will not produce more sperm after the procedure. The aim of the procedure is not to correct your low sperm count, but instead to forcefully extract sperm for fertilization of your partner's or surrogate's eggs during a fertility treatment. However, you may be able to freeze some of the sperm in the long term to avoid having to have the procedure performed again.

The Potential for Inflammation

Like all surgical procedures, sperm extraction does carry with it some risk for long term effects. Doctors who have studied the long term effects of the procedure noticed that inflammation remained three months after the procedure in more then three fourths of the patients who volunteered for the study; however, this inflammation was present internally, within the testis from which the sperm was extracted. The patients did not notice inflammation or discomfort in the long run. The majority of these same patients who returned at the six-month mark no longer exhibited any signs of current inflammation, although many were left with small amounts of calcification and/or scarring in the internal tissues.

The Potential for Tubular Volume Increase

Another group of doctors found in a study that tubular volume (referring to the urethra, which carries both urine and the sperm from the testes to the tip of the penis) may increase in men who had non-obstructive azoospermia after sperm extraction. This could potentially lead to complications when it comes both to ejaculation and urination. However, not all doctors agree that there is a great risk for tubular volume increase.

The Potential for Testosterone Decrease

Other doctors worry that the TESE procedure could lead to a slight decrease in testosterone levels in the long-term because the surgery takes place in the testes, where testosterone is produced. Other studies have found no significant decrease in testosterone levels, so the subject is still up for debate. Still, it's important that you understand your risks should you choose to undergo the procedure.

Testicular sperm extraction is one of the best options for men who suffer from obstructive or non-obstructive azoospermia. The wide consensus is that it poses little long term effects that should cause concern, but if you prefer not to take chances, you can always choose to use a sperm donor instead.

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