You may have probably found yourself thinking about getting more children after you’ve had a vasectomy. Some of the most common questions that most people in such a position have asked themselves often revolve around their options when the time comes to conceive.
You might be torn in between a reverse vasectomy and an IVF procedure. The most common factor that could influence your decision is which of the two has more promising results. When it comes to practicality, a reverse vasectomy procedure is often less expensive with higher chances of success compared to In-Vitro fertilization (IVF) (1).
A Vasectomy is not Always Permanent
In most cases, men will opt for a vasectomy procedure as a more permanent sterilization option. However, there is always the option of reversing the effects of this procedure if you so wish. This makes it possible to sire even more kids after a vasectomy.
Different vasectomy techniques ultimately depend on your preference and the recommendation of your doctor. Regardless of the type of procedures, the general idea is essentially the same. It will involve inhibiting a clear path for sperm through the vas deferens (2).
The purpose of doing so is to eliminate a clear path through which sperm will flow, thus preventing fertilization. To have a successful pregnancy, the path needs to be reinstated by removing the blockage. The two main options are either a vasovasostomy surgery or a bypass procedure through IVF.
Reversing a Vasectomy
The main idea behind a vasectomy reversal is to restore the path through which sperm pass during ejaculation. This procedure is essentially a reconnection of the sperm duct after the blockage is eliminated. The good news is that this procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis without being admitted overnight.
Success will depend on a few factors, including the time elapsed, since the vasectomy procedure was performed. The risks associated with reverse vasectomies are relatively low (3). You can also proceed with conception as soon as you heal without needing medical intervention. This makes it much less expensive than IVF, which will require you to be under constant medication.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
IVF is another alternative for conception after a vasectomy procedure. This procedure uses a medical bypass technique that doesn’t need surgical intervention. Sperm is retrieved from the testes through needle aspiration. For IVF, both male and female partners are involved. The woman has to be injected with hormone-based doses to trigger her ovaries to release fertile eggs.
The egg is then obtained through a separate medical procedure, after which it undergoes fertilization by the retrieved sperm. The sperm is obtained from the sperm duct near the testicular region. The healthy sperm is then used to fertilize the egg retrieved from the woman and reinserted back to the uterus after successful fertilization. The chances of success are reasonable but not as good as those from a vasovasostomy procedure (4).
The Benefits of Vasectomy Reversal Over IVF
As mentioned earlier, a vasectomy reversal will be more affordable than an IVF procedure. It also allows you to have more than one child if you so desire. This is why its popularity has continued to grow over the years.
Links to Sources Used:
- Vasectomy reversal versus IVF with sperm retrieval: which is better? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20852426/
- How is a vasectomy done? https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vasectomy/conditioninfo/done
- Vasectomy reversal: a clinical update https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854082/
- Reconsidering vasectomy reversal over assisted reproduction in older couples https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29935639/