Percutaneous Epidydimal Aspirations, also known as percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) is a sperm retrieval technique used as part of a fertility treatment. Couples struggling with male infertility may be good candidates for the PESA technique as part of their fertility treatment package. This technique allows the fertility specialist to retrieve higher numbers of sperm for cryopreservation, and is generally less invasive than ICSI.
Talk to your fertility specialist about the pros and cons of percutaneous epidydimal aspirations (PESA) and other sperm retrieval techniques.
PESA – Percutaneous Epidydimal Aspirations Technique
The percutaneous epidydimal aspirations technique is performed using a series of microsurgical techniques. The sperm are aspirated through a butterfly needle that is placed into the caudal portion of the epididymis, and allows the doctor to retrieve a large number of sperm in one session. Most fertility specialists attempt to perform this type of treatment first because it is far less invasive than ICSI. If sperm collection fails with PESA, the fertility specialist may perform the microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) technique instead.
PESA – Percutaneous Epidydimal Aspirations
Recovered sperm from this technique can then be preserved until they are needed for treatment. The PESA technique has both advantages and disadvantages over the MESA technique and other sperm retrieval procedures. You can learn more about the pros and cons of this technique when you meet with your fertility specialist. If the male has already undergone a number of sperm retrieval procedures, the success rates with PESA do diminish.
PESA – Percutaneous Epidydimal Aspirations Advantages
Less invasive than ICSI
Can retrieve a higher number of sperm than MESA
Sperm can be preserved easily for future use
Does not require a skin incision
Fairly easy to perform
PESA – Percutaneous Epidydimal Aspirations Disadvantages
Success rate diminishes after multiple procedures are performed
Sperm can become contaminated with blood
Sperm typically has to be frozen correctly to store for a future treatment
Has a tendency to retrieve sperm that are less mature and have lower motility
Repeated procedures may be required
Risk of damaging the blood vessels and the epididymal tubule
Couples or single women who want to become pregnant but have fertility problems such as damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, low sperm count, or other issues have other options available to obtain a better chance of becoming pregnant. In cases of infertility, in vitro fertilization may be the most effective choice. IVF can work for many couples who want to become pregnant, but it is not the right solution for everyone. How do you know if IVF is the right choice for you?
Women who are pregnant will go above and beyond to ensure their babies are safe. Pregnant women change their diets, quit smoking and drinking, and lay off caffeine. During pregnancy, women also consult with their doctors about which medications may be unsafe. Opinions on one class of medication in particular, antidepressants, have been varied across medical professionals.
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