Surgical Sperm Recovery

Dr Abhiruchi Paisal is our male factor specialist and performs the SSR procedure on-site at BCRM

Surgical Sperm Recovery at BCRM

Sometimes sperm from the testes is not present in semen. This could be due to either a blockage or because of reduced sperm production. In many of these cases sperm can be collected by surgical sperm retrieval techniques.

The procedure is carried out on the testes under local or general anaesthetic. The least invasive aspiration technique is attempted first. Sadly on occasions it is not possible to retrieve any sperm.

Any collected sperm are frozen and then used for ICSI treatment with your partner's or chosen donor's eggs. The success rate for this treatment is very similar to that of ICSI with ejaculated sperm.

If you are unable to produce sperm then BCRM may recommend Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR). SRR is a procedure to remove sperm directly from:

  1. The epididymis known as percutaenous surgical sperm aspiration – PESA
  2. The testicles known as testicular sperm extraction – TESE

You may be unable to produce sperm because:

  • You have undergone a vasectomy
  • You do not ejaculate sperm
  • You have extremely low sperm production

With Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR) blockages are bypassed by collecting the sperm with a fine needle from the narrow tubes (the epididymis) on the surface of the testis.

In cases where not enough sperm is being produced in the first place, sperm can be obtained from tissue samples (biopsies), taken from inside the testes itself.

In some instances, severe sperm disorder or blockage of sperm release can be due to a genetic abnormality which may carry a risk for the baby. Couples may therefore need some additional blood tests and advice before ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) treatment is considered.

Steps to Surgical Sperm Recovery

1. Specialist Consultation

If it is deemed clinically appropriate for you to undergo an SSR, you will first need to see a male factor fertility specialist. At this consultation you will have a testicular ultrasound and physical examination.

2. Further Testing

Your consultant will likely refer you for additional hormone and genetic blood tests. Your consultant will review the results and will confirm if you are a suitable candidate for SSR.

3. Scheduling your SSR

Once you have been signed off for the procedure, our SSR coordinator will be in touch to arrange your next steps and provide a date for the retrieval.

4. SSR

The sperm will be collected from the narrow tubes (the epididymis) on the surface of the testis with a fine needle (PESA). If we are unable to collect any sperm using PESA, we will attempt obtain tissue samples (biopsies) from inside the testes (TESE).

5. Follow Up Consultation

You will have a follow up consultation with a male factor specialists to discuss the outcome of your SSR and ensure you are recovering well. Next steps in your fertility journey will also be discussed.

Surgical Sperm Recovery
from £2415