Sperm Aspiration vs Vasectomy Reversal: Male Fertility Treatment Options
To diagnose male infertility issues, doctors must conduct a series of tests and examinations. These tests include a physical examination where doctors analyze the patient’s medical history and ask questions about the person’s sex life. One of the most important tests is semen evaluation. Doctors collect samples of the patient’s semen to check for infections as well as sperm count, quality, and genetic makeup. To treat infertility issues, doctors may recommend surgical or nonsurgical options.
What treatment options do men have?
There are a variety of treatment options for men struggling with infertility issues. These options all depend on the root cause of infertility. A few common options include:
- Hormone treatments
Doctors will discuss any or all of these treatment options with patients before starting a treatment plan. Ultimately, the patient has the final decision in what treatment options to pursue.
What are the surgical options for infertility?
Infertility caused by an issue with the testes or scrotum may require surgery due to internal blockages or damaged organs. For instance, a varicocele, which is an enlarged vein in the scrotum, needs surgical repair. Doctors can also reverse surgeries like a vasectomy that stops sperm production or extract sperm directly from the body using a surgical tool.
What is sperm aspiration?
Sperm aspiration is a medical procedure that allows doctors to retrieve sperm directly from the testes or epididymis. The epididymis is a small tube connected to the testes. To perform the procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. The doctor uses a fine needle or microscope to retrieve sperm. Generally, the procedure takes less than 20 minutes to perform.
What is the difference between sperm aspiration and vasectomy reversal?
A vasectomy reversal can be very invasive. During a vasectomy, doctors cut the vas deferens tubes that release sperm. For the reversal, doctors must first examine the patient to see the condition of the leftover tubes. Doctors must also check the tubes to see if sperm still exists. If the tubes can be repaired, the surgery is tedious and takes hours.
Which option is best for me?
A vasectomy reversal is only an option if the patient previously had a vasectomy. If not, then sperm aspiration may be one of the surgical options that medical professionals suggest. Male patients dealing with infertility should consult a fertility specialist. A specialist will provide in-depth information about treatment options and perform the exams needed to identify fertility issues.