What Is a Testicular Sperm Extraction?

When dealing with infertility, sperm extraction is a viable option for couples who have been unable to conceive without intervention. The process of testicular sperm extraction is a fairly simple one that can be done under local anesthesia.

The Process

The testicular sperm extraction operation generally lasts less than an hour and is performed by a surgeon. During the operation, a small piece of tissue is removed from the testicle. This tissue contains any viable sperm cells, and these viable sperm cells can be later used for sperm injection.

The Injection

The sperm cells that are obtained via testicular sperm extraction are particularly valuable in cases of primary testicular failure, lack of the vas deferens or a vasectomy. In cases such as these, where regular ejaculation cannot take place, an injection process called Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to place the sperm cells in the hope of conceiving a child. In some cases, testicular sperm extraction and Intracytoplasmic sperm injection are combined to help conceive a child even when there is no obvious physical problem causing the infertility.

The sperm cells obtained from testicular sperm extraction are viable ones, and they can be precisely injected with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, so this can be an effective method of treating infertility. At least 75% of the time, viable sperm is obtained with this method, with a pregnancy via Intracytoplasmic sperm injection resulting in about half of those cases.

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