TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration)can be used as a diagnostic procedure to detect Azoospermia (a condition whereby a man has no sperm in his seminal fluid), or as a procedure to recover sperm from the testicles of men with obstructions or ejaculatory problems that cannot be treated by any other methods.
In the TESA procedure, a very fine needle is passed into the testicles under anaesthetic, and a tiny amount of material is removed from the seminiferous tubules (network of tiny tubes where sperm are produced). These tubules are then processed in the laboratory and checked for the presence of sperm, which can be either used to fertilise eggs or frozen.
Sperm retrieved from the seminiferous tubules in a TESA procedure are less mature and less motile than sperm found in ejaculated seminal fluid. As such, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – a specialised form of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) – is required to achieve fertilisation with TESA sperm.
Men should be aware that some of these treatments carry risks comparable to those of elective surgery. We encourage you to discuss these risks with your treating specialist.