A testicular biopsy is a test to remove a small sample of tissue from one
testicles and examine it under a microscope to
evaluate a man's ability to father a child.
testicles (testes) are oval-shaped glands that hang in
the scrotum beneath the base of the penis. The testicles produce
sperm (necessary for reproduction) and male hormones,
Why It Is Done
biopsy may, on rare occasions, be done to help
determine the cause of male infertility. Testicular biopsy may be done if both
of the following are present:
- The man's
semen does not have sperm.
- Hormone test results are within the normal
Testicular biopsy is not usually used to detect
testicular cancer. When cancer is suspected, an open
surgical procedure (orchiectomy) is done to confirm the diagnosis.
Testicular biopsy may also be done to retrieve sperm for
in vitro fertilization for
intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI).
How To Prepare
Before having a testicular biopsy, be
sure to tell your doctor if you:
- Have had any bleeding problems.
- Are allergic to any
medicines, including anesthetics.
- Take any medicines regularly. Be
sure your doctor knows the names and doses of all your
- Are taking any blood-thinning medicines, such as
warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, enoxaparin (Lovenox), aspirin, ibuprofen, or
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
You will need to sign a consent form that says you
understand the risks of a testicular biopsy and agree to have the biopsy. Talk
to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its
risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you
understand the importance of the biopsy, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
If a testicular biopsy is done under
local anesthesia, no other special preparation is
biopsy is done under
general anesthesia, your doctor will tell you how soon
before surgery to stop eating and drinking. Follow the instructions exactly
about when to stop eating and drinking, or your surgery may be canceled. If
your doctor has instructed you to take your medicines on the day of surgery,
please do so using only a sip of water. During
preparation for the biopsy, an
intravenous line (IV) is inserted in your arm, and a
sedative medicine is given about an hour before the
How It Is Done
This biopsy is done by a
surgeon or a doctor who treats reproductive health
problems in men (urologist) in the doctor's office, a day surgery
clinic, or a hospital operating room.
You will lie on your back on
an examining table. The skin over your testicle is cleaned with an antiseptic
solution, and the area around it is covered with sterile cloth. Your doctor
will wear sterile gloves. It is very important that you do not touch this