The truth about vasectomies
More than half a million men choose to have a vasectomy every year in the United States. Vasectomies are a highly effective birth control solution, but the procedure isn’t foolproof. Roughly 1 pregnancy occurs for every 1,000 vasectomies performed, making the birth control procedure 99.9% effective.
Avoiding a reversal
While undoing a tubal ligation is not easy, many men can have a vasectomy reversed. However, not every person wants to completely eliminate a fail-safe that can prevent an unexpected pregnancy or go under the knife again. For this cohort, ART solutions can be used to retrieve sperm. The sperm can then be used with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) to achieve a pregnancy. In particular, testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) and testicular sperm extraction (TESE) can be incredibly effective solutions.
The testicular sperm aspiration procedure tends to be the most popular option for men that have previously undergone a vasectomy. Treated as an outpatient procedure, TESA involves the use of a local anesthetic and a needle to extract sperm and tissue from the testicles. The sperm are then combined with an egg to create an embryo for transfer.
Unlike aspiration, testicular sperm extraction usually requires general anesthesia and is performed in an operating room. While the man is sedated, an incision is made in the testis. The tubules will be examined to confirm sperm are present, and then a sample will be extracted.
Whether planning for IVF or IUI, couples need a viable sperm sample to even attempt conception. Thanks to innovations in ART methods, men aren’t required to reverse a vasectomy to father future children. Sperm extraction solutions exist to make the reality of expanding a family possible. To determine which option is best, consider speaking with a fertility specialist.