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Sperm Aspiration

Sperm retrieval refers to any procedure that is used to obtain sperm for fertility purposes. In general, sperm retrieval is performed when there is either no sperm present in the semen or if men are unable to ejaculate. In almost all cases, sperm retrieval must be utilized in combination with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for reasonable pregnancy rates to be obtained.

Men can have their sperm aspirated directly from their testicles or from the attached epididymis (tightly coiled tubules, attached to the top of the testes) that stores the sperm prior to an ejaculation.

The most common conditions requiring Sperm Aspiration are:

  • Previous vasectomy (with or without an attempt at reversal) is the most common indication for Sperm Aspiration
  • Congenital absence of vas deferens (the connecting tube between testicles and penis is missing) 
  • Sperm concentration and/or sperm quality so low that no normal sperm can be found in the ejaculate 

Sperm Aspiration can be an alternative to vasectomy reversal (a microsurgical operation). Most men who had a vasectomy can have sperm aspirated from the epididymis above the point where the sperm delivering tubes were severed by vasectomy. One of the advantages of this approach over vasectomy reversal is the continuing presence of vasectomy for contraception after a pregnancy has been achieved.


Bring or wear loose fitting slacks or sweatpants. You may have a light breakfast the day of your procedure and may take any medications with sips of water. You may be receiving a sedative during the procedure. It is absolutely necessary that you have someone present at the time the procedure starts to drive you home. If you are unable to have someone with you, we will need to reschedule the procedure when you can have someone available. Please bring a scrotal support (jock strap) with you as it will be necessary to wear this immediately after the procedure. If you should have any questions concerning the procedure or the preparation for it, please feel free to call your doctor's office. Do not take aspirin/aspirin containing products/ibuprofen/naprosyn, etc. for at least 10 days before the procedure.

When you get home:


  • If you have been given a sedative during the procedure, do not engage in activities that require alertness; no driving, machinery, or consumption of alcoholic beverages the day of or while taking narcotic pain medication
  • Wear a scrotal supporter (jock strap) or firm fitting underwear for 1-2 weeks. Thereafter, you may wear it as long as you are more comfortable with it than without it
  • You may remove the bulky dressing inside your supporter the day after the procedure. If you have some drainage from your incision, place a gauze sponge inside until it subsides
  • You may resume sexual intercourse when it is comfortable for you, usually 5-7 days. Avoid strenuous physical exercise for 1-2 weeks, and gradually increase as tolerated. You may perform all other normal duties
  • You may shower in 24 hours. Do not scrub the area. Just let the soap and water run over your scrotal area. Do not take a bath or swim for 5-7 days


  • You have been given medication for pain. You can begin taking your medication at the first sign of discomfort and thereafter as directed
  • Apply an ice pack directly on top of the supporter when you get home (a bag of frozen vegetables works well). Use this for the next 12-24 hours. This will help keep the swelling down and provide pain relief

Side Effects:

  • You may notice a small separation of the skin and possibly a small amount of discharge or bleeding. Do not worry about this unless you develop bleeding, signs of an infection, fever, excessive redness, excessive swelling, foul smelling drainage or pain not relieved with pain medication
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to call your providers office

Follow Up:

Contact your physician for follow up