A surgical sperm recovery procedure may be required if there is a blockage preventing sperm from entering the ejaculate. If a man is found to have no sperm and the testes appear to be of normal size and functioning normally then the lack of sperm may be due to a blockage in the connecting tubes. A fertility specialist will first perform a series of hormone tests to check if the lack of sperm in the ejaculate is due to a blockage.
A Surgical Sperm Recovery (SSR) may involve two kinds of procedure. A Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) involves inserting a needle under sedation through the skin directly into the epididymis to try and extract sperm using local anaesthetic. A Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) involves inserting a needle directly into the testicle to try and extract sperm using local anaesthetic, while sedated.