The everyday rigour and stress of work, life, and responsibility can take a toll on the body, which includes the reproductive system. Therefore, disorders like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, impotence, and problems with sperm concentration, quality, and motility seem to be common these days.
Apart from stress (which is a primary contributing factor), these disorders are often linked with insufficient or imbalanced nutrition, lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of physical activity, and other health conditions.
For men facing problems with the concentration, quality, and motility of the sperm you need to know that, sexual health is not independent of overall health, vitality, and lifestyle and you can undergo fertility treatments to reverse few issues that cause these problems.
But how can it be solved? Let us tell you!
What is Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR)?
Surgical Sperm Retrieval or SSR is a fertility treatment which helps men who don’t have any sperm in their ejaculate.
The sperm is formed in the two testicles present at the base of the penis. Through a coiled tube called the epididymis, the sperm leaves the testicles and stay there until they are ready to be used. The vas deferens is another tube that links each epididymis to the prostate.
The vas deferens runs from the scrotum into the groin and connects to the seminal vesicle (together forming the ejaculatory duct). When it is time for ejaculation, then the sperm passes through the ejaculatory ducts where it mixes with the fluids from the seminal vesicles, prostate, and other glands to form the semen and through the urethra, it comes out form the end of the penis. But due to some injury, genetic defects or infection there can be an obstruction that prevents the sperm from releasing. Few of them are:
- Congenital absence of the vas deferens, where men are born without the vas deferens. Hence there is no medium for the sperm to drain from the testicle.
- Vasectomy, it is a surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception.
- Non-obstructive azoospermia, it is a condition where the testes make less concentrated sperm, and hence they do not reach the vas deferens.
Such cases can be rectified with the help of Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR).
What do the treatments involve?
There are many types of treatments; they are:
PESA or Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration is a process where a fine syringe is carefully inserted into the epididymis (where the sperm is stored) or testicles (where the sperm is made), and the sperm is extracted. It is a quick and painless method.
Testicular Sperm Extraction or TESE is a surgical procedure where sperm is collected from biopsies from the testicular tissues. The biopsies are obtained by making a small incision in the scrotal skin. The entire process is performed under general anaesthesia.
Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration or MESA is a process of retrieving sperm from the epididymis tubes by using a surgical microscope. Here, the fluid samples are taken (from the epididymis tubes of the patient) with the help of an operating microscope for further examination to find out if there are any sperm. This method is very safe.
Microsurgical Testicular Sperm Extraction or Micro-TESE is the best fertility treatment for non-obstructive azoospermia. Here, the outer layer of the testicle is opened, and the inside is checked with an operating microscope to find areas (tubules) where the sperm is being made. Your urologist can see areas more likely to be making sperm. Once the promising areas/tissues are found, it is taken out or examined carefully, and the sperm is extracted if possible.
Does Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR) work for everyone?
Unfortunately, no! Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR) wouldn’t work for men with certain genetic conditions. Consult a fertility specialist for more details!