Male factor infertility can occur for a number of reasons, including obstruction, sperm production disorders, structural abnormalities, and ejaculatory problems. In fact, it is not uncommon for healthy sperm to be stored in the testes yet be absent in the ejaculate. In these cases, sperm retrieval may be a viable option. During this procedure, sperm are collected directly from the vas deferens, epididymis, or testes. At our Houston, TX, facility, we provide a number of conservative and holistic treatments, including urological consulting for our clients considering sperm retrieval.
The Importance of Urological Consulting before Sperm Retrieval
At the Houston Fertility Center, we embrace a holistic approach to treatment. We work together with a team of counselors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, dieticians, and urologists to provide our patients with comprehensive, high-quality care. When couples choose IUI or IVF, the process is quite time-sensitive, and sperm must be retrieved prior to the insemination or fertilization. When you undergo urological consulting, you will have an entire team of medical professionals who are working to help you reach your goals and grow your family.
Male Factor Statistics
Infertility is not a rare condition. In fact, about 15 percent of all couples experience it. Approximately 50 percent of these cases will involve a male infertility factor, while nearly one-third of these couples will be unable to conceive exclusively because of a male factor.
Reasons Why Sperm Retrieval May be Appropriate
There are several conditions in which sperm retrieval can aid in conception. You may be a candidate for sperm retrieval if you have:
- Azoospermia: This condition is characterized by the total absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
- Ejaculatory duct obstruction (EDO): This condition actually prevents ejaculation.
- Previously undergone a vasectomy: For men who have undergone a vasectomy and still want to conceive, sperm retrieval is often an excellent choice.
Types of Sperm Retrieval
There are several different methods used for sperm retrieval. The treatment recommended by our fertility team will entirely depend on your unique circumstances. Techniques used to collect sperm include:
- TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration): Typically performed in a clinic under local anesthesia, TESA involves numbing the testes with local anesthesia, then inserting a needle to aspirate sperm. No incisions are necessary for this treatment, which is reserved for men who are producing adequate quantities of sperm within the testes.
- TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction): This procedure is similar to TESA. However, a small incision is required in order to diagnose or confirm the presence of sperm. This may also be an option for men who are ineligible for TESA due to scar tissue.
- PESA (Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration): Men with obstructive azoospermia may benefit from this procedure, which is similar to TESA. This minimally invasive approach selects mature sperm that are likely to exhibit superior survivability following cryopreservation.
- MESA (Microscopic Epididymal Sperm Aspiration): This procedure involves making a small incision to expose an epididymal tubule. Next, the sperm are retrieved using a high-magnification surgical microscope.
Benefits of Sperm Retrieval
Sperm retrieval and aspiration offer several benefits. Most notably, the procedure involves very little risk. Even though there is the chance for complications with any medical procedure, the minimally invasive nature of this treatment lowers this possibility. Additionally, sperm retrieval has a fairly high success rate, particularly in patients with azoospermia.
Contact Us to Learn about Our Urological Consulting Services
If your infertility issues involve a male factor, we recommend consulting with a urologist to find out if sperm retrieval or aspiration is right for you. To learn more, contact the Houston Fertility Center online or call us at one of our two office locations.