Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) for retrieval of spermatozoa for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a new simplified technique in the treatment of men with obstructive azoospermia. There has been a fear that the PESA procedure, being blind, could cause damage to the epididymal duct system and make it impossible to retrieve spermatozoa if a repeated procedure is required. We report here on repeated PESA procedures from the same unilateral epididymis. Twenty-seven men with obstructive azoospermia were investigated retrospectively regarding sufficiency of the number of motile spermatozoa for ICSI, fertilization rate (FR) and possibility of collecting spermatozoa for cryopreservation in repeated PESA procedures. Sufficient motile spermatozoa for ICSI were found in a similar proportion of men at the first two attempts: 91 and 89% respectively. Fertilization rate and the possibility of collecting spermatozoa for cryo-preservation were also similar at the first two PESA procedures: 62 versus 67% and 33 versus 33% respectively. At the third procedure, motile spermatozoa for ICSI were retrieved in 86% (6/7), FR was 47% and spermatozoa were cryopreserved in one case. Two men underwent a fourth PESA. In both cases, a sufficient number of motile spermatozoa for ICSI was found and FR was 62%. This study shows that in men with obstructive azoospermia, PESA can be repeated on the same unilateral epididymis up to three times, with good opportunity of retrieving sufficient motile spermatozoa for ICSI.
Copyright (C) 1998, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
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