Retrieving spermatozoa from the testicles has been a great hope for patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA), but relevant methods have not yet been developed to the level necessary to provide resolutions for all cases of NOA. Although performing testicular sperm extraction under microscopic magnification has increased sperm retrieval rates, in vitro selection and processing of quality sperm plays an essential role in the success of in vitro fertilization. Moreover, sperm cryopreservation is widely used in assisted reproductive technologies, whether for therapeutic purposes or for future fertility preservation. In recent years, there have been new developments using advanced technologies to freeze and preserve even very small numbers of sperm for which conventional techniques are inadequate. The present review provides an up-to-date summary of current strategies for maximizing sperm recovery from surgically obtained testicular samples and, as an extension, optimization of in vitro sperm processing techniques in the management of NOA.
Keywords: cryopreservation; in vitro maturation; non-obstructive azoospermia; sperm; sperm selection; testicular azoospermia.