Microepididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESE)

Definition - What does Microepididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESE) mean?

Microepididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) is a method of obtaining sperm-containing fluid from the epididymis of men who have obstructive azoospermia, which is the absence of sperm due to a blockage that prevents the sperm from entering the ejaculate. It is the preferred method of retrieval for men with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens.

MESA can only be used for sperm retrieval in the case of obstructive azoospermia. It is not the procedure of choice for non-obstructive azoospermia, where sperm are not produced by the testis. In that case, Microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (microTESE) is performed.

FertilitySmarts explains Microepididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESE)

The urologist operates on the candidate for MESA under general anesthesia. A small cut is made in the scrotum (the skin sac just behind and below the penis), which exposes the epididymis, and typically, millions of high-quality sperm can then be collected.

MESA is considered to be a gold standard approach because of the yield of sperm and fertilization and pregnancy rates achieved through this procedure are typically excellent. The risk of complications is also low. The patient would, however, feel some pain in the groin for a few days after surgery.

Any retrieved sperm is later used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a technique where sperm is injected in the egg to accomplish fertilization. The remaining sperm can be are cryopreserved for later use.

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