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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE): How It Works

By Michael Vermesh on December 15, 2015

An older man outside with his partnerAt the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, we take great care in customizing treatments to address issues with infertility. We have helped countless couples and individuals in the greater Los Angeles area start healthy, happy families.

We offer a number of fertility treatment options for male factor infertility. One of these procedures is known as testicular sperm extraction (TESE), which we'd like to discuss in more detail right now.

About Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)

Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) is a means of addressing male factor infertility that is the result of azoospermia (low sperm count). During the procedure, tissue is taken directly from the patient's testicle and individual sperm are removed from the tissue. The sperm can then be used in in vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to fertilize an egg in a lab setting.

Ideal Candidates for Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)

The best candidates for testicular sperm extraction (TESE) are men who experience both obstructive and nonobstructive azoospermia.

Obstructive azoospermia is a condition in which there is no sperm present in the semen due to a physical blockage of some form that prevents the sperm mixing in with the rest of the man's ejaculate. In some cases of obstructive azoospermia, ejaculation may be minor or virtually non-existent.

Nonobstructive azoospermia is a condition in which a man's sperm production is very low but there are still viable sperm produced.

TESE candidates should have full knowledge of the risks and benefits involved in the procedure as well as realistic expectations of any assisted reproduction process.

How Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) Is Performed

Patients are first given a local anesthetic to prevent major discomfort and anxiety during the procedure. A small need is inserted directly into the testicle tissue to remove small amount of testicular tissue. The process will take around 15 minutes to half an hour. From these samples of testicular tissue, a fertility specialist is able to extract viable sperm that can be used in a fertility procedure.

While there may be some post-procedure discomfort, most men who undergo testicular sperm extraction (TESE) are able to return to normal activities in the same day without any issues experienced.

How Effective Is Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)?

Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) is an effective option in many cases so long as a man still experiences some degree of sperm production. Using the sperm from the TESE procedure, fertility specialists will often perform intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as part of the fertility treatment process. This means injecting sperm directly into a viable egg in order to boost the chances of successful fertilization, pregnancy, and live birth.

Keep in mind that success of a full fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can vary from case to case, and that there are numerous factors to consider when it comes to the overall success of any given procedure.

Is Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) Right for Me?

The best way to find out if testicular sperm extraction (TESE) is the right option for you and your needs is to discuss these matters with our team. We will be able to answer all of your questions and address your concerns, helping you understand all options available that may be suitable for your situation.

Contact the Center for Fertility and Gynecology

To learn more about testicular sperm extraction (TESE), in vitro fertilization (IVF), and your many other options for advanced fertility treatment, be sure to contact our fertility treatment and assisted reproduction center today. The entire team at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology look forward to your visit and discussing all viable treatment options with you in greater detail.

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