The usual way of producing sperm for use in Assisted Reproductive Technology is manual stimulation. In cases where medical or religious factors prevent this, surgical methods can be used. Medical reasons that could contribute to inability to produce sperm though ejaculation could consist of azoospermia, low sperm count, low sperm motility. The following procedures help retrieve sperm through minor surgical procedures:
PESA (percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration) is a method, performed under local anesthesia, which involves extracting sperm with a fine needle from the epididymis or testes. The sperm is then implanted into the egg through the process of ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) to be used in IVF.
In cases where the epididymis does not contain any sperm, because of impaired sperm production, the method of TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration) or TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction) may be used. TESE involves a surgical biopsy of the testis, while TESA is performed by sticking a needle into the testis and aspirating fluid and tissue with negative pressure.
The most invasive of the surgical sperm retrieval procedures is MESA (micro-epididymal sperm aspiration), which is performed under general anesthesia. MESA involves the cutting open of the scrotum to retrieve sperm. The wound is closed with dissolvable stitches. Swelling and pain subsides within a few days, during which prescribed painkillers may be taken to ease the pain.