Sperm can be aspirated with a needle from the testicle or from the vas deferens (a structure right next to the testicle that also contains sperm). The man is given some drugs to sedate him and some local anesthesia is also used to numb the area. Then a small needle is inserted and sperm is aspirated from either the epididymis or the testicle. There should be no severe pain. The procedure generally takes about 30 minutes.

The different sperm aspiration and extraction procedures have long names and also short names (acronyms):

  • PESA – Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (can be done in the office)
  • TESA – Testicular Sperm Aspiration (can be done in the office)
  • TESE – Testicular Sperm Extraction involves a small incision and snipping off some tissue from inside the testicle – often done in a hospital or free-standing surgicenter.