After undergoing a vasectomy, a man will not be able to conceive a child through intercourse. The surgery is an effective form of male birth control with a success rate of almost 100 percent. About three months after undergoing vasectomy, a man’s semen will have no sperm in it.
Even though vasectomies are highly effective at making men’s semen sperm-free, it is still possible for a man to father a child after a vasectomy thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other means. The two primary options are:
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Vasectomy Reversal
The team at our Lubbock, TX fertility center would like to consider these other options for having a baby after a vasectomy.
About Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
ICSI is a process in which a single sperm is extracted with a fine needle, and then used to fertilize an egg in a traditional IVF procedure. For men with low sperm count or poor sperm motility, the sperm may be taken following ejaculation. For men who have undergone a vasectomy, the process is different.
The Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Procedure
To retrieve a sperm for ICSI, a fertility specialist can perform needle aspiration directly from a man’s testicles. While sperm may not be present in a man’s semen after vasectomy, their testicles will continue to produce sperm. Multiple sperm can be extracted directly through this process if a man has good sperm count and motility.
Microsurgery can also be used to retrieve sperm for some men if needed. During this procedure, a small incision is made to access the epididymis or the testicles themselves. In some cases, tissue may be taken from the testicles themselves with the aid of a high-powered microscope. This tissue is then analyzed for good quality sperm to be used in the ICSI procedure.
How Effective Is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?
Success rates for ICSI can vary from couple to couple based on a variety of factors. Some estimate the fertilization rate of IVF with ICSI to be around 80 percent, though the pregnancy and live birth rate tends to hover around 25 percent and 35 percent.
During the consultation process your fertility specialist will be able to more closely consider the potential success of treatment.
What About Vasectomy Reversal?
Vasectomy reversal is another option to consider for having a child again. This process will reattach the vas deferens after they have been severed (vasovasostomy) and/or the vas deferens and the epididymis (vasoepididymostomy). This restores male fertility by reintroducing sperm back into a man’s semen.
Why You May Want to Avoid Vasectomy Reversal
A vasectomy reversal can be costly, especially if you would like to only have a single child but maintain the birth control benefits of the procedure. What’s more, vasectomy reversals are not always effective, especially if a man had their initial vasectomy many years prior to the reversal procedure.
Sperm Freezing Cryopreservation: Planning Ahead
Before undergoing a vasectomy, it may be a good idea to preserve some of your sperm through cryopreservation. This freezes viable sperm so it can be used later on to have a child, whether through IVF or artificial insemination. This process will not involve surgery of any kind, and could be a smart decision in case of a future desire to have a baby.
Learn More About Fertility After Vasectomy
To learn more about your options for starting a family after a vasectomy, be sure to contact The Centre for Reproductive Medicine. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.