Surgical Sperm Retrieval

North Cyprus IVF Centre

Azoospermia and Surgical Sperm Extraction Methods


Target Patient Group:

Male patients who have been diagnosed with Azoospermia, Aspermia, Oligospermia, Teratospermia can all be candidates for this procedure. A semen analysis will further confirm suitability.

Cost of Treatment:

Please Inquire

Estimated Length of Stay in Cyprus:

2 days for the procedure, or 6 days if it is to be performed along with IVF Treatment.

Success Rate: Depends on semen characteristics and the nature of azoospermia.



Azoospermia is one of the main factors of infertility. It has been estimated that around 15% of all male infertility cases are due to azoospermia, which refers to complete absence of live sperm cells in the ejaculate. Causes of azoospermia are categorized into two groups. Obstructive azoospermia suggests that there is a blockage somewhere along the sperm delivery system and live sperm cells are not able to make it into the ejaculate as they are being blocked. Obstructive azoospermia could stem from a problem in one of the ducts that allow sperm to pass through. Infections are a common cause of this type of azoospermia. Non-obstructive azoospermia suggests that rather than a blockage, there is a problem with production of sperm and the testes are unable to produce any sperm at all. This can be due to testicular failures due to chromosomal abnormalities, varicocele which are known as benign cysts and hormonal problems. In any case, if you have had a semen analysis done, and the results indicate azoospermia, further investigation is to be carried out by a urologist for a complete diagnosis.

With recent innovations in medical technologies, surgical sperm extraction methods have become available. Surgical sperm collection methods include the following:

1- Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) PESA is a simple method of sperm extraction used for men who have an obstruction of the vas deferens, either due to vasectomy or other obstruction. In order to minimize scarring, PESA is usually done on one side. Although the sperm obtained with this procedure will be immature and lower quality sperm, majority of the time, PESA will yield enough sperm cells for the ICSI procedure.

2- Micro Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) MESA sperm retrieval technique involves aspiration of sperm from the epididymis with a fine needle, which is a more advanced version of the PESA procedure. It is a surgical procedure and is carried out under a general anesthetic. Sperm extracted using this technique are often of poor quality but are usually suitable for freezing. In some cases, enough sperm might be collected for a number of ICSI procedures, allowing the patients to use part of the sperm for the ongoing fresh cycle and preserve some of it for a future cycle.

3- Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) This method of sperm extraction is often used for non-obstructive type of azoospermia where sperm cannot be obtained from the epididymis. TESE procedure requires taking a small piece of tissue from the testis and isolating the sperm from this tissue. Compared to MESA or PESA, a lower number of sperm cells are likely to be extracted, and in some cases, viable sperm may not be found in the biopsy tissue, which may require canceling the cycle or opting for sperm donation.

The diagram below shows how each of the surgical sperm retrieval methods are administered:

Surgical sperm retrieval and extraction methods for Azoospermia

Please also browse our “Frequently Asked Questions” section for specific questions and answers related to the type of treatment you are interested in. The chances are, we have been asked these questions before and have already prepared a comprehensive answer to them.

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