Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)
Definition - What does Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) mean?
Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) is the surgical retrieval of sperm from testicles (the glands that produce sperm) in men who have non-obstructive azoospermia. A lack of sperm in a man's ejaculate is known as azoospermia. Non-obstructive azoospermia is due to decreased sperm production by the testis, whereas obstructive azoospermia is caused by an obstruction that prevents the sperm from entering the ejaculate.
The procedure involves a small incision in the testis where the tubules are examined for sperm. The retrieved sperm can then used in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a technique where a single sperm is injected in an egg to accomplish fertilization.
FertilitySmarts explains Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)
The procedure takes place under local anesthesia. The goal is to obtain a large number of high-quality sperm with minimal damage to the reproductive organs. Conventional TESE, however, has largely been replaced by another technique—microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE).
MicroTESE has the advantage of taking fragments from different areas of the testis as opposed to conventional TESE in which a large biopsy is taken from just one area. TESE can be performed in a doctor’s office, but microTESE is usually done in an operating room.
While a variety of procedures are available for obstructive azoospermia, testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and microsurgical testicular Sperm extraction (microTESE) remain the only procedures for non-obstructive azoospermia.
A research study conducted to compare the effectiveness of TESE and microTESE for ICSI demonstrated that microTESE is more effective as compared to conventional TESE. The need for donor sperm to achieve pregnancy has reduced due to the microTESE and ICSI procedures.