MESA (micro epididymal sperm aspiration) and TESA (testicular sperm aspiration) are methods of extracting sperm directly from a man’s body:
The MESA procedure involves retrieving sperm from the epididymis — a coiled section of tubing behind the testes that stores sperm while they mature. Then, it transports the sperm between the testicle and the vas deferens (the tube connecting your testicles with your urethra).
Your Gen 5 Fertility Center provider makes a small incision into the skin and inserts a needle. They use the needle to aspirate (draw off) some of the fluid in the epididymis.
TESA is similar to MESA, but your provider aspirates fluid from the testicle rather than the epididymis.
Why would I need MESA/TESA?
You might need to undergo a MESA or TESA procedure if there are no sperm in your ejaculate. You make sperm in your testicles that mixes with semen from your prostate gland when you ejaculate. If one of the sperm reaches an egg in a woman’s uterus, the fertilization process can begin.
Some men have fertility problems that mean sperm doesn’t mix with semen when they ejaculate. You can’t tell by looking at semen, so if you experience difficulties conceiving, the Gen 5 Fertility Center team might perform sperm analysis.
If sperm analysis reveals you have no sperm in your ejaculate, you might need to undergo MESA or TESA. If they successfully extract sperm, the team can use them for assisted reproduction procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
What do the MESA/TESA procedures involve?
MESA requires a general anesthetic, whereas your provider performs TESA under local anesthesia, numbing the testicle area, so you feel no discomfort. TESA takes about 10 minutes. MESA is more involved, requiring specialized retrieval using a surgical microscope that can take several hours.
The sample immediately goes for testing to determine whether sperm are present. When possible, the Gen 5 Fertility Center team performs sperm collection on the same day as egg retrieval for couples undergoing IVF.
In most cases, the team also cryopreserve (freeze) sperm following MESA or TESA. You can then use the frozen supplies for future rounds of IVF and IUI.
To learn more about how MESA/TESA help with fertility, call Gen 5 Fertility Center today or complete the online booking form.