Micro-TESE is a surgical procedure to find and extract sperm from the testicles. The term micro-TESE is an acronym, which stands for Microsurgical Testicular Sperm Extraction. It is usually suited to men who have an obstruction or the absence of vas deferens and the sperm is not transferred to the ejaculated semen.
How does Micro-TESE work?
Micro-TESE is always performed in conjunction with ICSI, as usually the concentration of sperm collected is low and is not suitable for IVF.
Once you have decided to undergo micro-TESE – which will only be after you have had an in-depth consultation with a member of our team and undergone a number of tests to decide if this is the best option for you – you and your consultant will agree upon a date for the surgery. This will usually be before the commencement of IVF treatment.
During the operation itself, the surgeon opens the testicles and examines the tissues under a microscope, removing any areas which he thinks are likely to contain sperm – he can tell this by looking at the seminiferous tubules (the parts of the testicles that produce and transport sperm) and identifying which ones are dilated.
Once all of these areas have been extracted, they are taken to the lab, where they are examined to see if any sperm is present. Any sperm that is found will then be used for treatment or frozen until the point of the IVF treatment cycle when it is needed. At that stage, the sperm will be defrosted and the strongest specimens selected to be injected directly into the eggs that have been harvested.
Micro-TESE gives men with obstructive azoospermia or absence of vas deferens the chance to father a child. Previously, if a man was unable to produce sperm then IVF treatment was not possible..
Surgery is always a last resort, and we will discuss in depth all the options available to you before settling on any one course of action, but if other avenues of sperm production have failed, micro-TESE could be an exciting opportunity.
Whatever the cause, infertility is distressing for all concerned and our staff are highly trained and experienced in looking after couples who have experienced high levels of emotional strain. We will be here to support and guide you the whole way through and will help you find the course of treatment that is right for you.