Can we have ICSI if I am not producing sperm?
If the embryologist can’t find any sperm in your sample, it may be possible to retrieve some sperm by performing an operation.
If you have a zero sperm count (other than caused by vasectomy) the chances of retrieving sperm may be very low or at least uncertain. If your doctor feels that you would benefit from an operation to try to obtain sperm the risks and benefits will be discussed with you.
It is sometimes possible to collect sperm directly from the epididymis (a narrow tube inside the scrotum, where sperm are stored and matured) using a type of fine syringe. This is known as ‘percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration’ or PESA.
Sperm can sometimes also be retrieved from the testicles, a process known as ‘testicular sperm aspiration’ or TESA.
It may also be possible to remove tiny quantities of testicular tissue from which sperm can be extracted. This procedure is called ‘testicular sperm extraction’ or TESE.
The sperm taken from these procedures is frozen, and thawed for use at the time of your treatment.
If no sperm are retrieved the options of having Donor insemination (DI) or In vitro fertilisation (IVF) with donor sperm can be considered instead.