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About SCI Living with SCI SCI and Fertility Procedures for Men






Vibratory Stimulation
Sperm Aspiration

- Procedures for Men with Spinal Cord Injuries -

Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)


Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) - For some patients with spinal cord injuries, ejaculation is impossible, or little or no living or motile sperm can be recovered from their ejaculate.  However, these men frequently have sperm in the testicles.  Sperm can be harvested directly from the testes through Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA).  Because a low number of sperm can be collected this way, and because testicular sperm cannot fertilize an egg on its own, TESA must be used along with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). 

How does TESA work? 

      Under local sedation, a small needle is used to extract sperm directly from the testicle. 

      Testicular sperm must be used with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). A single sperm, processed in our laboratory, is injected directly into the oocyte (egg),  fertilizing it.

      Once fertilized, the developing embryo is implanted into the uterus. 

Prior to TESA, men with no sperm in their ejaculate required much more involved surgery to recover sperm from their testes.  This operation would require hospitalization and lengthy recuperation time, as well as high costs.  TESA is a fast procedure performed right in the office, requiring only local sedation, and costs much less than surgery. 

Cryopreservation - Some patients with SCI have a very small amount of motile or living sperm in their semen.  To increase the amount available for use in IUI, IVF and ICSI, sperm can be frozen (cryopreserved) and stored at the Westwood Cryobank, an affiliate of the Institute, for use in future fertilizations.  Cryopreservation can also be used to store unused semen and sperm samples to prevent the need for further vibratory stimulation or sperm aspiration. 

For more information about these procedures, or to set up an appointment with our doctors, please contact us at (310) 278-7590.

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Copyright 2001 Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Genetic Testing
Last modified: 04/02/04