Surgical sperm retrieval

About one man in a hundred produces no sperm or very few sperm in his semen – a condition known as azoospermia and oligospermia.  Various factors can contribute towards these conditions, for example:

  • Vasectomy (the male sterilisation operation).
  • Illness (eg, mumps in adolescence).
  • Trauma or injury to his groin.
  • A genetic condition.
For some of these men it may be possible to surgically retrieve sufficient sperm directly from the testes for use in the ICSI procedure.  This procedure is known as Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR).

SSR is usually planned in advance but in exceptional circumstances can also be carried out as an emergency procedure if the man is unable to produce a sperm sample on the day of his partner’s egg collection.