IVF treatment (IVF/ICSI/IMSI) involves the fertilization of the egg cell by a sperm outside the female body in the laboratory. In some cases, however, sperms have to be collected directly from the man’s testes during a minor surgical intervention called TESE – “Testicular Sperm Extraction”.
The TESE procedure is used in men with a very low sperm count (cryptozoospermia, OAT-syndrome) or no sperm at all in the ejaculate (e.g. due to blocked seminal ducts).
Sequence of the TESE procedure
The procedure takes place on an outpatient basis. Small tissue samples are removed directly from the testes while the patient is under anesthesia. The biopsies are then subjected to laboratory examination. Sperm contained in the tissue samples will be extracted and processed for subsequent IVF treatment.
What are the chances for affected infertile couples to get pregnant with the help of the TESE procedure? Below you will find more information on the subject given by the surgeon and practitioner of reproductive medicine, Dr. Maximilian Murtinger (→ Publications):
“When faced with involuntary childlessness, the couple’s situation is characterized by strong emotions, hopes and expectations towards the medical experts. In order to give this couple a real chance to conceive a child, it is essential to provide individually tailored and easy-to-follow therapies.
Concerning an IVF treatment involving TESE we offer the couple the advantage of undergoing the treatment within one cycle at the IVF center, without having to deal with delays (waiting times after an external TESE).
In order to make a precise assessment with respect to the couple’s chances of conceiving, several factors need to be considered when it comes to the treatment process. Our focus is on the developing blastocysts (=stage of embryo development on day 5). With that, our forecast does not only take into account lab parameters, ultrasound findings and the number of oocytes obtained, but also the stimulation protocol, IMSI results (sperm quality), the embryo culture technique and the method of cryopreservation.
Taking all these aspects of an IVF treatment involving TESE into consideration, we are able to provide couples concerned with very good prospects of achieving pregnancy.”
In summary, it can be concluded that even childless couples in challenging situations can be helped to realize their dream of having a child by means of modern techniques employed in reproductive medicine and extensive experience on the part of the treating doctors.
Sequence of IVF treatment involving TESE
1. Ovarian Stimulation
2. Egg Retrieval (Oocyte Pick-Up)
3. TESE → Laboratory Examination of Spermatozoa
4. Fertilization of Oocytes
5. Blastocyst Culture
→ more articles concerning this topic in the Special »What men should know about fertility, sperm quality and IVF«