Family Building Options

Planning to have a family can be difficult for some couples struggling to conceive. After multiple attempts of trying to conceive, some couples opt for in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant. Others may decide to have a baby after previously thinking a family was complete and go for vasectomy reversal. The best fertility option will depend on factors such as age, infertility diagnosis, finances, and personal choice.

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About vasectomy reversal

The undoing of a vasectomy procedure is called vasectomy reversal. In this process, the tube that carries the sperm from the testicle into the semen is reconnected. Once reconnected, couples can achieve pregnancy naturally. The procedure is done via vasovasostomy or vasoepididymostomy, but vasovasostomy is the preferred surgical reversal method. Vasectomy reversal complications are rare but can include bleeding in the scrotum, infection at the site, and chronic pain

Vasectomy success rates

After a vasectomy reversal, sperm ejaculation can take up to 18 months to return, but in most cases, fertility is restored in about 3 months. A semen analysis is usually performed 2-3 months after the procedure to determine if the reversal was successful. The effectiveness of the reversal can range from 60-95%, depending on how much time has passed since the vasectomy was initially performed.

IVF as a plan B

If a vasectomy reversal is unsuccessful, couples can try other options to get pregnant. One way is to rely on donor sperm using assisted reproductive techniques (ART) such as IVF. This process is costly and involves multiple steps. The steps are stimulating the ovaries, retrieving the eggs, fertilizing the egg with sperm in the lab, and embryo transfer. Some couples achieve success after one cycle of IVF, while others require multiple attempts to get pregnant. IVF is a safe procedure overall but carries a risk of multiples, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), and premature or low birth weight babies.

More success with IVF?

The overall success rate of IVF depends on many factors, including the woman’s age. Women under 35 years old have a higher success rate than older women. Donor sperm can help when the man is the reason for infertility, but any underlying fertility problems a woman has may also play a role. Consult a fertility specialist to determine if IVF is the best approach.

Making the right choice

Each couple will have different circumstances that guide the decision to choose IVF or vasectomy reversal. Both approaches can be effective in helping to build a family, but the right choice depends on factors such as age and underlying health conditions. A fertility specialist can meet with a couple to discuss both options and make a recommendation. When a baby is desired, fertility options like reversal and IVF can help make that dream a reality.

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