The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute





     The Fertility Evaluation >> What is a Diagnostic Testis Biopsy?

 What is a Diagnostic Testis Biopsy?

The most common finding amongst infertile men is abnormal sperm production in terms of numbers and quality. However, a small percentage of men have a zero sperm count known as azoospermia. There are three causes for azoospermia:

1. Insufficient hormones and this is easily established by blood tests.
2. Problem in the testis producing sperm
3. Blockage preventing sperm from getting out similar to a vasectomy.

The last two can sometimes be differentiated by findings in the history, physical examination or on blood tests, however, there are a significant number of times when it is still uncertain. In that case, a diagnostic testicular biopsy is performed to differentiate between obstruction and a problem inside the testis.

A diagnostic testicular biopsy consists of taking a small pea sized amount of tissue out of both testes and sending them to the pathology laboratory for examination. The tissue must be handled properly in a special way for the biopsy to be worthwhile. Thus, even though the procedure is quite simple, it is best performed at a center that has a great deal of experience with male infertility.



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