MFS Fertility Blog

Vasectomy Reversal vs. Alternative Options: A Comprehensive Comparison

Posted on June 28, 2024 in Vasectomy Reversal

If you've undergone a vasectomy but later decide that you want to start a family, there are a few options available. The two most common procedures are vasectomy reversal and sperm retrieval, along with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Let’s review the pros and cons of each option so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Vasectomy Reversal — What Does it Entail?

During a vasectomy reversal, a surgeon reconnects each tube (vas deferens) that carries sperm from a testicle into the semen. If successful, sperm will be present in the semen again, and you may be able to get your partner pregnant. The procedure is typically done on an outpatient basis at a hospital or surgery center. A vasectomy reversal is more complicated than a vasectomy and requires a specialized doctor.

Are Vasectomy Reversals Effective?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the success rates for the return of sperm in your ejaculate following a vasectomy reversal can range from 60% to 95%, depending on the number of years since the vasectomy. Additionally, the average success rate for pregnancy after a vasectomy reversal is around 55%.

An experienced vasectomy reversal doctor can make a significant difference. For instance, Dr. Martin Batsuba at Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists has a vasectomy reversal patency success rate of 98% and a vasectomy reversal pregnancy success rate of between 65-75%.

Are There Different Types of Vasectomy Reversals?

Yes! The surgeon usually reattaches the vas deferens in one of two ways, depending on where sperm is found.

  • Vasovasostomy: This procedure involves the surgeon reconnecting the ends of the vas deferens after removing any blockages in the tubes that carry sperm.
  • Vasoepididymostomy: This surgery attaches the vas deferens directly to the small organ at the back of each testicle that holds sperm. It is more complex than a vasovasostomy and is typically chosen if a vasovasostomy is not feasible or if sperm is absent.

In most cases, the patient does not know beforehand which technique is required. The surgeon determines which procedure will work best during the operation and provide the best chance for a successful pregnancy.

Sperm Retrieval and IVF

A treatment alternative to a vasectomy reversal is to use sperm retrieval combined with IVF to have more children. This process involves retrieving the woman's eggs and the man's sperm or donor sperm, combining and fertilizing them in a lab via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and then transferring the resulting embryos into the woman's uterus. Although this option is more expensive, it is safe and effective, providing quick results, especially in cases where female fertility is a concern.

Learn More About Your Vasectomy Reversal Options

Deciding to undergo a vasectomy reversal is a big decision. That's why it's important to speak with a doctor who specializes in male fertility, vasectomies, and vasectomy reversals. Dr. Batsuba and the expert team at Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists have specialized training in diagnosing and treating male fertility and sexual health issues. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment at one of our beautiful San Diego or La Jolla locations.

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