Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)

Testicular sperm extraction for severe male infertility

For men who have had a vasectomy or have certain types of severe male factor infertility, a procedure called testicular sperm extraction, or TESE, can make it possible to overcome impossible odds to become biological fathers. A highly effective treatment for certain men with azoospermia – or no sperm in their semen – this in-office procedure combines with IVF to make conception possible.

Joel Batzofin, M.D., performs the simple, low-cost TESE procedure at our New York fertility center while the patient is under local anesthesia. Using a thin needle instead of a skin incision, hair-thin specimens of testicular tissue are removed and sent to our IVF laboratory. Andrologists examine samples under a microscope to identify living sperm. The best-quality sperm are then selected to fertilize eggs retrieved through IVF, using a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI. The remaining healthy sperm are cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen for future pregnancy attempts.

Testicular sperm extraction is a virtually pain-free procedure that can be completed in 30 minutes or fewer. In fact, most men leave our office and return to their normal activities right away.

Are you a candidate for testicular sperm extraction?

TESE is the sperm-retrieval procedure of choice in cases of obstructive azoospermia – in which many sperm are present in the testes but are unable to exit in the semen through ejaculation. In such cases, the chance of successful sperm retrieval through testicular sperm extraction is 90% or greater.

Testicular sperm extraction may be recommended for men who have had a vasectomy but now wish to father a child. In addition to being less painful and invasive than surgical vasectomy reversal, TESE allows the man to maintain his vasectomy for future contraception. TESE is also useful when the vas deferens or ejaculatory duct is blocked or absent for other reasons, such as scarring or cysts.

Testicular sperm extraction is also an option when male factor infertility is due to ejaculatory dysfunction, which may be caused by:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Prostatectomy or other surgery
  • Intractable male impotence or erectile dysfunction

For cases of non-obstructive azoospermia, in which the number of living sperm in the testes may be low, different procedures may be recommended for sperm retrieval.

Learn more about TESE

To determine if testicular sperm extraction might be an option to help you and your partner have a baby, the first step is semen analysis to ascertain whether sperm may be blocked from exiting the testes. To get answers or find out more about TESE, contact our New York fertility center.