When sperm is not present in the ejaculate, surgical sperm recovery may be recommended in order to collect sperm for treatment.
This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic. A needle is inserted through the scrotal skin into the epididymis or testes and gentle suction is applied. Sufficient sperm can be obtained in 80 percent of procedures. Sperm collected in this way can then be used in in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
If possible, we will obtain enough sperm for freezing as well. This may mean that you will not need another sperm recovery procedure if future IVF cycles are undertaken (although it depends on how well the sperm tolerate the freezing/thawing procedure).
Men can usually go to work the day after this procedure.
Freezing and Storage of Sperm
Sperm can be frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen at -196oC for up to 10 years. This includes sperm retrieved from the testes or epididymis by surgery or biopsy.