The Andrology Blog

The Science & Medicine of Male Reproduction

Archive for TESE

Healthy sperm post-vasectomy

This always seems to come up in discussions with patients and embryologists with whom I work:

  • After a vasectomy, where can the healthiest sperm be found?

The answer is the testicle.  Sperm located in the epididymis after a vasectomy is often damaged and non-functional.  A normal epididymis has many functions that include sperm maturation, transport, and development.  After a vasectomy, this critical epididymal functions get disrupted. The testicle, on the other hand, continues to produce healthy sperm as if nothing ever happened.  This testicular sperm can be used for ICSI.

After a vasectomy, testicular sperm can be retrieved with a simple, painless, in-office procedure.

Dr S

This is a microscopic image of a testicular biopsy specimen

This is a microscopic image of a testicular biopsy specimen

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A common question: can sperm from a retrieval be used for IUI?

Many people ask me this question. The answer is no. Here is why:
1: Not enough motile sperm from a TESE
2: Not enough good quality sperm from a PESA or MESA
3: Simply does not work

For better results, try either having a vasectomy reversal or a sperm retrieval in conjunction with an IVF cycle.