TESE is a surgical sperm retrieval procedure used in fertility treatment for men who have no sperm in their ejaculate. TESE is used for men with azoospermia. These men have no sperm in their ejaculate due to a blockage in the route between the site of sperm production (the testes) and ejaculation or because there is a partial or complete failure in sperm production in the testes.
Sperm are retrieved from the testes and can be used to achieve fertilisation of eggs in the laboratory. However, because the numbers of sperm that retrieved is often very low, it is necessary to combine TESE with ICSI. If suitable numbers of sperm are retrieved, it is sometimes possible to freeze the remaining testicular extract for subsequent treatment.