When the ejaculate lacks sperm which can be used for in vitro fertilization procedures (in the consequence of e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy, undescended testicles, obstruction or absence of vasa deferentia, congenital defects), the patients can decide to have sperm picked up directly from a testicle or epididymis. The procedure is carried out in ambulatory setting, under ultrasound guidance, with the use of a needle or special biopsy device, under anesthesia.
Semen obtained by means of biopsy may be immature, but nevertheless can be used in the ICSI procedure. So far, there has been no evidence of the negative impact of the application of immature male reproductive cells in the ICSI procedure on human prenatal life.
In some cases, a so-called open testicular biopsy may be recommended.
Prior to performing a testicular biopsy, the patient has to sign his consent to the procedure.