Medical options to undo sterility vary from one potential vasectomy reversal patient to another. The advancement in medical science offer several options to couples to want to expand their families following vasectomy. Considered to be the simplest and easiest way to regain fatherhood is by reversing vasectomy. It is a surgical procedure that literally undoes vasectomy by reconnecting the passageway of sperm that was severed during vasectomy. However, there are drawbacks to this surgery.
The cost of vasectomy reversal is quite unfavorable to an average employee. It is likely that one has to shell out around $ 6000 to $ 15,000 to regain fertility. Aside from the cost, pregnancy rate can also be frustrating to the couple. Not all post-vasectomy reversal patients achieve pregnancy. In fact, reversing vasectomy does not fully guarantee a 100 percent success rate. According to statistics and studies, pregnancy rate of the "healthiest" candidate is roughly at 76 percent. There are various factors that affect the chance to achieve pregnancy after reversing vasectomy. As candidates predispose themselves to any of these, pregnancy rate slims down. Vasectomy reversal is also accompanied by risks and complications. In the most unfortunate chance, failure of procedure is bound to happen. This may further result to permanent sexual problem.
There are several ways to regain fatherhood without reversing vasectomy. Medical advancement has created several alternative reproduction techniques to assist couples achieve pregnancy.
Invitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is an option for men with defective sperm quality and for women with infertility problems. With IVF, a man's sperm and the woman's egg are cultured in a dish for fertilization. The egg must have an optimal maturity and the sperm must function normally to achieve a successful fertilization. As such, a fertilized egg develops into an embryo. This is then transferred into the woman's uterus. A "tube baby" is produced once successful pregnancy is achieved. This technique of conceiving a child demands a healthy living so as not to impair the quality of sperm and egg. When reversing vasectomy is not an option for the couple, they may decide to go for IVF. However, pregnancy rate is low in routine IVF.
Intracytomplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
ICSI is another alternative to produce offspring without reversing vasectomy. This is an IVF in which a single sperm is injected directly into the egg. Unfortunately, studies confirmed that the possibility to develop birth defects is higher in ICSI compared to IVF. Moreover, aside from the possible defect and low pregnancy rate, this technique can also be quite stressful to the female partner following various medical procedures and treatments.
Sperm production is not altered even after a vasectomy. A procedure called Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration is made to harvest sperm from the male's reproductive organ. The fluid that is obtained can be used for IVF or ICSI to produce offspring. An alternative to PESA is the Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) where a tissue is removed from the testes. Sperm is extracted from the tissue for IVF.
Artificial Insemination or Donor Sperm
Donor sperm literally means having someone to donate sperm. The sperm is injected into the female's reproductive tract. The male partner is not considered to be the genetic or biological father once a successful pregnancy is achieved. Donor sperm can be obtained from the sperm bank. Artificial insemination is used as an alternative to the male infertility.
Most men who have had vasectomy will probably resort to vasectomy reversal as their first choice to regain fertility. However, there are cases that call for IVF or other alternatives to producing offspring other than reversing vasectomy. One of which is the age factor. Female infertility is parallel to her age. The couple would not want to wait a year or more for sperm to appear after vasectomy reversal.