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Houston Fertility Center

Understanding PESA: A Sperm Retrieval and Collection Procedure

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on March 29, 2016

A couple outdoors togetherDr. Sonja Kristiansen is a leading fertility specialist based in Houston, helping men and women start the families of their dreams. She offers a number of different procedures to address male factor infertility and female factor infertility.

There are many ways to address male factor infertility, such as sperm retrieval. We'd like to consider one particular sperm retrieval technique in particular known as percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration, or PESA.

About Sperm Retrieval

Sperm retrieval refers to various procedures that allow fertility specialists to collect sperm from a man by using a small tissue sample of the testicles. This allows fertility specialists to proceed with procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), using the retrieved sperm to fertilize an egg during this process.

Why Sperm Retrieval May Be Performed

Sperm retrieval is typically considered when a man has issues with sperm viability, sperm count, or ejaculation. In such cases, the man may have problems with semen composition, which affects the viability of his sperm. In other cases, a man may have a very small number of sperm in his ejaculate (oligospermia) or no sperm in his ejaculate (azoospermia) even though his testicles do produce sperm.

Sperm retrieval is also a good option to consider for men who have undergone a vasectomy in order to prevent having children. In such cases, the man has since changed his mind about having a family. Sperm retrieval makes starting a family possible again without reversing the vasectomy.

About Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)

There are many ways that sperm retrieval can be performed. One of these options is percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). Other procedures that can be performed include testicular sperm extraction (TESE), microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA), and testicular sperm aspiration (TESA).

What to Expect During Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)

During percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA), a patient is placed under local anesthetic in order to eliminate pain and discomfort during the procedure. A needle attached to a syringe is used to penetrate through the skin of the scrotum and access the epididymis, the tube that connects a testicle to the vas deferens. A tissue sample is extracted and then analyzed under a microscope so viable sperm can be taken.

Good Candidates for Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)

As alluded to above, good candidates for percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) are men who have issues with their sperm count or who have undergone a vasectomy. They should be in good overall health and wellness and understand the various risks and benefits involved in this minimally invasive procedure.

Is Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) Right for Me?

As you have read, there are numerous sperm retrieval options, and PESA is just one potential procedure that may be helpful. During a consultation with our team, we can assess your situation and determine which method of sperm retrieval might be most ideal for you. We will answer all questions and address all concerns during this time.

Contact Houston Fertility Center

For more information about sperm retrieval techniques and other options available to help you state the family you have always wanted, be sure sure contact our team of fertility specialists today. Dr. Sonja Kristiansen and her team look forward to your visit and discussing all of these matters in greater detail.

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