Infertility in some men may be the result of a problem with the movement of sperm from the testicles to the ejaculation fluid, as a result of either prior Vasectomy (vasa deferentia ligation) or anatomical genetic abnormality (absence of spermatic duct), or injury or inflammation.
In these cases, the sperm may need to be surgically collected from the epididymis, testis, or semen, depending on the cause of the sperm deficiency, using one of several surgical sperm retrieval techniques.
These are minor procedures but require anaesthesia and are performed as a day case and most of the times, on the day of the female partner’s egg collection.
After collection, the sperm is available for intra-cytoplasmic injection. It can also be frozen and thus made available in the future.
If no semen is found in the fluid of the epididymis, a thin needle enters the testicle. The needle is used to remove a tissue sample that is then examined for sperm in the laboratory.