Concerns with SSR
Finding success with surgical sperm retrieval depends heavily upon the SSR method
you undergo. PESA has the highest rate of retrieval associated with it, at 80% to 90%,
while TESE tends to be much lower, with only 60% of patients having sperm retrieved.
As all of these methods require the use of IVF, and often ICSI as well, the chances of
pregnancy tend to however between 20% and 30%, again dependant upon the method
of SSR used.
Another concern for many with SSR is the fact that, often, immature sperm are
retrieved. Because TESE removes sperm that have never passed through the
epididymis, some experts are concerned about using cells that are still evolving to
achieve pregnancy. In some instances, spermatids (round cells that have yet to
develop into sperm with tails) may be removed through TESE. Although spermatids
can be used with ICSI to cause pregnancy, it is still thought of as an experimental
Before deciding on SSR, discuss all the pros and cons of these procedure with your
fertility doctor. It is also a good idea to come up with a back-up plan in case it is not
possible to remove enough sperm through SSR.