Testicular epididymal sperm extraction

What is testicular epididymal sperm extraction?

This procedure involves taking a sample of testicular tissue to see if sperm are present.

The procedure

PESA is usually carried out under local anaesthetic by the consultant urologist. A small cut is made into the testicle and a tiny sample of testicular tissue is removed, before being carefully examined for the presence of sperm.

If excess sperm are recovered they may be frozen for use in a later treatment cycle. This means that it would not be necessary to recover further sperm until the frozen sperm was used up.

For more information, and if you have any queries, speak to your consultant.


PESA is appropriate for men who have no sperm in the ejaculate because they are born with no vas deferens (the sperm-carrying tube), or because the tube is blocked. MESA is also suitable for men who have had a vasectomy.

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