Surgical Sperm Retrieval
About one man in a hundred produces no sperm in his semen – a condition known as azoospermia. This may be due one of the following reasons:
- vasectomy (the male sterilisation operation)
- illness (eg mumps in adolescence)
- trauma or injury to his groin
- a genetic condition
For some of these men it may be possible to surgically retrieve sufficient sperm directly from the testes for use in the ICSI procedure.
Who may benefit from SSR?
- men who have had a vasectomy or a failed vasectomy reversal
- men who are carriers of certain genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis
- men who do not produce sperm in their semen, for example in cases of retrograde ejaculation
What does treatment involve?
An SSR is usually planned in advance but in exceptional circumstances can also be carried out as an emergency procedure if the man is unable to produce a sperm sample on the day of his wife’s or partner’s egg collection. Under sedation and with pain relief, a clinical team led by a Midland Fertility doctor or nurse, may use two different methods to surgically retrieve sperm:
- PESA is the least invasive method and involves inserting a fine needle into the epididymis, the convoluted tube that leaves the testis to become the vas deferens. This is particularly suitable for men who have had a vasectomy, or who were born without a vas deferens
- TESA involves passing the needle directly into the testis to remove a microscopic core of tissue, which is then prepared by scientists to release the developing sperm
Samples are passed immediately to the Midland Fertility laboratory where a scientist checks it for sperm suitable for use in ICSI. Once enough are identified, the procedure is stopped. Surgically retrieved sperm may be frozen, so the female patient may start her fertility treatment knowing that enough sperm is available to use with the ICSI procedure.
The man will be able to leave the unit about two hours after the procedure and will need to be driven home by someone else.
What is included in the SSR treatment cost?
- treatment planning
- sperm analysis
- surgical sperm retrieval procedure
What is not included in the SSR treatment cost?
- first appointment or follow-up consultation (as appropriate)
- investigations and/or repeat screening (as appropriate)
- treatment assessment or repeat screening (as appropriate)
- fee for freezing sperm samples (if required)
- ICSI treatment
How long does SSR treatment take?
SSR is a one hour procedure and the appointment may be confirmed after satisfactory routine infection screening.
Cost of SSR: £1,595.00
Go to the Midland Fertility Patient Treatment Information page and download the following infosheets:
- Surgical Sperm Retrieval
- ICSI: Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection