Baby After Vasectomy

Men who do not desire any additional children will often opt for a vasectomy. This procedure is a permanent form of male birth control that cuts off the supply of sperm to the semen. If a change of heart occurs after a vasectomy, can men still have children? Sperm retrieval with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an exciting assisted reproductive technology (ART) that could help men get a partner pregnant post-vasectomy.


Plans change

Although any man undergoing a vasectomy will be told to only have the procedure done if no future children are wanted, plans can change. Some men may meet a new partner later in life who desires children. Others may experience the loss of a child or have a change in family-building mentality. Regardless of the reason, pregnancy after vasectomy is possible. Some men will opt for a vasectomy reversal, which has about a 60-95% chance of success but can be painful. Sperm retrieval with ICSI is another option to consider.

Sperm retrieval

For men with a vasectomy, pregnancy cannot happen naturally. Instead, a fertility specialist must perform a procedure called sperm aspiration to retrieve viable sperm for use. First, the patient is given local anesthesia to numb the area. In some cases, men can be put completely to sleep with general anesthesia. During the procedure, the doctor makes an incision and aspirates or gently suctions the sperm from the testicles. The sperm is then combined with the female partner’s egg in the laboratory in hopes that fertilization will take place. If successful, the embryo is then transferred into the female partner’s uterus.

Possible side effects

Most men report minor pain after the sperm aspiration procedure, which can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Bleeding and infection are rare complications. A small number of men experience a drop in testosterone following the procedure, which can cause short-term problems with sexual function. Most patients tolerate the procedure well.

Adding in ICSI

To boost the odds of conception, men undergoing sperm retrieval can also opt for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This procedure injects the sperm directly into the egg instead of letting the 2 components connect naturally in the petri dish. Although ICSI doesn’t guarantee pregnancy, the procedure can increase the chances of success. For men who don’t want to go through another aspiration, ICSI can be the extra step needed to achieve pregnancy quickly.

A baby is possible

Reversing a vasectomy is an involved procedure that can be costly and painful. Sperm aspiration is a more direct approach that extracts the necessary specimen to create a pregnancy. The addition of ICSI increases the chances of success. Men desiring a baby after a vasectomy should discuss all available options with a healthcare provider before making a final informed decision.

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