Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) is a technique used to extract sperms in the event of a possible blockage of the vas deferens. A small needle is inserted through the skin of the scrotum to collect sperm from the epididymis, where sperm are usually stored after production in the testes. It can also be used to extract sperm for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
If you have been diagnosed with absent or blocked vasa deferentia or low sperm reserves, or if you have had a vasectomy in the past, surgical sperm retrieval may be the perfect solution for you. In all three cases, the sperm housed in your testicles have no way of reaching the urethra. While it is possible to surgically correct the blockage in the vasa deferentia, the results often yield a much lower success rate than that of a surgical sperm retrieval procedure.
PESA does not need any surgical incision. Instead, the procedure involves inserting a small needle through the scrotal skin and directly into the head of the epididymis. Once inside, the needle aspirates (draws) the fluid. An embryologist then retrieves sperm cells from this fluid and gets them ready for use in IVF-ICSI.
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