Infertility may often be thought of as a female problem, but it is just as likely that male infertility problems may be preventing couples from conceiving. Some common fertility problems that may prevent men from conceiving include blocked sperm ducts, an absence of the vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm out of the testes) or a previous vasectomy that has not been successfully reversed. At our Los Angeles fertility center, our fertility doctors can perform sperm extraction to retrieve sperm from male patients experiencing any of these conditions. The extracted sperm can be used in IVF treatment to allow couples to successfully conceive a child.
There are a few different techniques that can be used for sperm extraction. Our fertility doctors will evaluate each patient’s unique situation to determine the most appropriate sperm extraction technique. The following techniques may be considered:
- PESA: The PESA technique, or percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration, is typically the first choice for sperm extraction because it is minimally invasive. During this procedure, a needle is inserted through the scrotum and into the epididymis in order to collect a small amount of sperm.
- MESA: Also known as microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration, the MESA technique is more invasive than the PESA technique, but does allow for the successful extraction of a significant amount of sperm. Using a small incision and an operating microscope, a single epididymal tubule is opened and sperm is extracted.
- TESE: TESE, or testicular sperm extraction, utilizes either a needle or a surgical incision to extract sperm from a small sample of tissue.
Regardless of which technique is used, our fertility doctors make patient comfort a priority. Sperm extraction is typically performed with the patient under local or general anesthesia. This procedure usually is complete in under an hour and requires 24 to 48 hours of recovery.
Sperm Extraction and IVF
When the patient’s sperm has been extracted, it will be used in the IVF treatment. For our patients in Los Angeles, IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a fertility treatment with exceptional pregnancy success rates. Typically, sperm extraction will be performed on the day of the partner’s egg retrieval. The eggs will then be fertilized using the extracted sperm. Successful fertilization will result in viable embryos. These embryos will incubate in our lab for one to five days before being transferred into the fallopian tubes.
In some cases, ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, may be used along with sperm extraction and IVF. For severe cases of male infertility, this technique can increase the pregnancy success rate. ICSI involves the injection of a single extracted sperm into a single egg. Our fertility doctors will discuss this technique in more detail if we feel it may be beneficial to the patient.
Schedule an Appointment
At the Center for Fertility and Gynecology in Los Angeles, it is our goal to help couples achieve the dream of parenthood. With our experienced doctors and the use of the most high tech fertility equipment, we have been extremely successful in that goal. If you have had difficulty conceiving and are ready to seek fertility treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at your earliest convenience. We’d love to hear from you!