Second Thoughts After A Vasectomy?

Men looking for a permanent form of birth control or sterilization will consider a vasectomy. This is a surgical procedure that cuts and seals the vas deferens. By cutting and sealing this tube, sperm is prevented from mixing with semen, effectively making the man sterile. Doctors consider vasectomies a permanent form of sterilization, and reversal can be difficult. Therefore, men considering a vasectomy should feel confident there are no plans for children in the future. However, certain life circumstances can lead to men having a change of heart. At that point, micro epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) is the best method for a second chance of having a child.


Reversal is difficult but possible

After discussing the change of plans, some men will consider reversing the procedure. A vasectomy reversal is a surgical operation that reconnects the vas deferens to allow sperm to mix semen once more. The 2 ends of the vas deferens are reconnected using microsurgery techniques, such as sutures or tiny clamps. Success rates for vasectomy reversal vary. Generally, the longer the man waits, the lower the success rate. Reversal success is also influenced by the surgeon’s experience, technique, and other factors, such as the age and fertility of the man’s partner.

An alternative approach with MESA

Many factors affect the success of a vasectomy reversal, and some reversals still do not allow a man to conceive naturally. When this occurs, a fertility clinic can help with different fertility techniques. MESA involves retrieving sperm directly from the epididymis, a coiled tube that sits on the back of the testicle and stores sperm. The process is typically done under general anesthesia and involves making a small incision in the scrotum. Using a microscope and special equipment, the surgeon can locate and remove viable sperm from the epididymis. Once retrieved, the sperm can be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get a woman pregnant. With IVF, the sperm is combined with a woman’s eggs to create embryos outside the body. The best available embryo is then implanted in the woman’s uterus for pregnancy.

Benefits of MESA

Micro epididymal sperm aspiration can be an effective way to regain fertility in men who have had a vasectomy. The procedure is often recommended when vasectomy reversal is not an option or has been unsuccessful. With MESA, the doctor can recover a larger sample and even cryopreserve some for future use. If there are fewer sperm, the fertility team can use intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to increase success rates. Although there are risks associated with any surgery, including bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding structures, MESA is relatively safe.

A return of fertility

Vasectomy is a near-permanent form of contraception, but the procedure can be reversed. However, there is no guarantee that a reversal will work. In this situation, MESA can offer men a second chance at fatherhood, effectively overcoming male infertility. By surgically extracting sperm and performing IVF, men can work around the vasectomy. Discuss the benefits and risks with a fertility clinic to make the best possible decision for growing a family.

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