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Saving sperm during a vasectomy reversal? Yes or No?

saving sperm during a vasectomy reversalThe main reason that men contact us for a vasectomy reversal is to enable them to father a child, whether this is with a new partner or to increase their family.

At The Vasectomy Reversal Centre we have high levels of success, but sometimes patients want to know that they can try for a baby through IVF if the reversal doesn’t work and ask Mr Harriss if he offers the process of saving sperm during a vasectomy reversal.

The vasectomy reversal success rate at the centre is very positive and we regularly monitor and analyse these results to ensure that they are continuing to improve. For vasectomies that occurred for men aged 30 and under, we are currently seeing a 98% success rate, with this only falling to 84% for reversals that took place between 15 and 20 years after the vasectomy. We categorise success as having live sperm present after three months or a pregnancy taking place within three months.

What does saving sperm during a vasectomy reversal involve?

During the reversal process, some surgeons extract sperm by using a large needle to go into the epididymis, which is where sperm is collected at the top of the testis. The sperm that is extracted can then be stored and used for artificial fertilisation in the future if necessary. Mr Harriss is not an advocate of this for the following reasons:

  • There is a significant additional cost for this
  • There are various blood tests that are required prior to surgery to facilitate saving saving sperm during a vasectomy reversal
  • The recovery is significantly worse due to the increased risk of bruising
  • There is a real chance that despite best intentions, that the epididymis can be damaged thereby reducing the chance of a successful reversal.
  • The sperm would be in CARE Fertility in Nottingham where IVF would need to take place in the future. For some this would be geographically difficult.

Therefore, Mr Harriss would always advocate that you have your best attempt at a vasectomy reversal and then store sperm, assuming a positive outcome, at three months. This will be much easier to produce and have much less cost associated. He would not propose saving sperm during a vasectomy reversal.

There is no guaranteed best way to carry out sperm extraction, but you should aim for the least invasive and simplest method, which is not during a vasectomy reversal.

In the end, it’s your choice whether you’d like to have sperm harvested. Contact The Vasectomy Reversal Centre to find out more.