Option 1: R stands for reversal
Vasectomy reversal is generally the first option chosen by couples wanting to conceive post-vasectomy. Reversal is a relatively simple, although invasive procedure that has a high rate of success. While the cost of the method is expensive and may not be covered by insurance, other options are more expensive. Couples want to ensure the surgeon is experienced in microsurgical techniques to improve the success rate. Other considerations in the decision to have a vasectomy reversal are female fertility and length of time since the vasectomy. The age of the male and even the number of children desired can also influence the decision.
Option 2: Sperm production goes on
Couples seeking a child after vasectomy have a second option of in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the male partner’s sperm. Despite the disruption in the pathway, sperm is still produced by males after a vasectomy. Therefore, sperm can be retrieved directly from the testis or epididymis using a needle or via a small surgical incision. Like other options, female age and fertility affect the success rate. Multiple IVF cycles may have to be done to achieve conception, which adds to the cost and should be considered.
Option 3: A little help
In some cases, post-reversal, the male’s sperm production has dropped too much to be sufficient for IVF. Using a sperm donor, intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be a third option to achieve conception. With this procedure, donor sperm is placed directly in the female’s uterus during ovulation. Frequently, this method is used when there is a level of female infertility as well. Because of that, fertility medications are often involved, which can lead to an increased chance of a multiples pregnancy.
And baby makes three
Fertility doesn’t have to end with vasectomy. Vasectomy reversal is a viable option for many couples and carries a high rate of success. Even if a reversal is not an option or isn’t successful, still other opportunities for conception are available. Couples should talk to a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action. And then, decorate that nursery because the family is likely to grow. For more information about fertility after a vasectomy, speak with a fertility specialist.