Testicular Biopsy

Testicles produce sperm (vital to conception) and male hormones. Any problems in the production of sperm can impact male fertility.

Why It Is Done

If no sperm is seen in the ejaculate, an obstruction of the ducts is ruled out, and if at least one testicle is normal size, then a testicular biopsy can evaluate if sperm are still being produced, which can be later used for IVF/ICSI.

How It Is Done

In a short surgical procedure, and while under a local anaesthesia, a small piece of the testicle(s) is surgically removed and microscopically evaluated for the presence of sperm cells. The entire procedure can sometimes be done in the healthcare provider’s office. There are currently a number of options for this type of testicular biopsy and these should be discussed with a urologist or other healthcare professional. Other than a short sting when the local anaesthetic is injected, the test should be painless.

Following the test, the scrotum and testicles may be sore for three to four days and some bruising may be evident. Sexual activity should be avoided for a week or two after the biopsy.

In some cases, sperm isolated from the biopsy can be stored frozen for later use in fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

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