When a man has no sperm in his ejaculate, yet testing and examination suggests that there may be sperm in the testes, then the procedure of testicular biopsy or Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) may be of help to the couple.
The procedure of testicular biopsy is performed with a fine needle. This involves placing a fine needle into the testes and withdrawing some of the tubules from within the testes which contain live sperm. The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthesia.
The procedure of Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) is performed by passing a fine needle into the epididymis and aspirating sperm.
The man may feel some discomfort in the 24 hours following these procedures, but simple pain killers, like Panadeine, are usually sufficient to overcome this.