Sperm Retrieval for IVF: What to Expect

After a vasectomy, in some cases, men who want to start a family are better candidates for sperm retrieval than a vasectomy reversal. Sperm retrieval is performed as part of in-vitro fertilization, or IVF. This option is necessary in the case of azoospermia, which means that there is no sperm present in the ejaculate. During sperm retrieval, sperm is removed directly from the epididymis so that it can be used in IVF procedures. If your vasectomy reversal surgeon recommends this procedure, here is what you can expect.  

Sperm Retrieval Through MESA 

Sperm retrieval is performed using the MESA procedure, or Microscopic Epididymal Sperm Aspiration. It is performed using an operating microscope, so your surgeon can see exactly where sperm is located in the epididymal tubules. Through the use of the operating microscope, it is possible for your surgeon to remove the sperm with as little damage as possible to the surrounding structures and with as little blood and other fluid as possible. This increases the chances of success during IVF. 

Local Anesthesia  

MESA is usually performed under local anesthesia, though some patients receive spinal blocks or general anesthesia. During the procedure, once you receive the anesthesia that the surgeon deems appropriate for you, he or she will make a series of small incisions in order to access the epididymal tubes. Using the microscope, he or she will remove the sperm from the tubes and frozen for use in future IVF sessions. Generally, it is possible to get enough sperm for multiple rounds of IVF during one MESA procedure.  

Recovery 

MESA is a minimally invasive procedure, and recovery is usually fast. It’s normal to have some swelling and tenderness for a few days after MESA that is easily controlled with pain medications. Most people return to normal activities within a few days.  

MESA is one of the procedures offered at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota. Dr. Green can help you decide if vasectomy reversal or another procedure, such as MESA, is the best fit for you. Schedule an appointment today by calling (941) 894-6428. 

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