Background: It is unclear whether or not testicular sperm extraction (TESE) should be repeated for patients in whom no sperm were found during their first TESE attempt. Methods and results: The outcome of repeated TESE was evaluated in patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) after failing to obtain sperm in their first extraction attempt, or having used all available cryopreserved testicular tissue. Out of 83 patients with NOA, patients repeated TESE two (n = 22), three (n = 8), four (n = 6) and five (n = 3) times. Distribution of main testicular histology included germ cell aplasia (55%), maturation arrest (29%) and germ cell hypoplasia (16%). The first TESE yielded mature sperm for ICSI in 39% of patients (sp+), and failed in the remaining 61% (sp-). A second TESE yielded mature sperm in 1/4 from the sp- group and in 16/18 from the sp+ group. At the third, fourth and fifth trials, 8/8, 5/6 and 3/3 of the original sp+ patients were sp+ again respectively. Compared with the outcome of the first trial, all further trials did not differ statistically in the rate of fertilization (54 versus 49%), implantation (9.5 versus 5.4%), or clinical pregnancy/cycle (19 versus 15%). No pregnancies were achieved among the three patients after their fifth TESE. Pregnancies occurred in all histological groups, except maturation arrest. Conclusions: The outcome of repeated TESE cycles, up to the fourth trial, justifies the procedure.
- Non-obstructive azoospermia
- Testicular sperm