It doesn't have to be permanent.
Men's one effective form of birth control is the Vasectomy. Normally vasectomy is considered permanent, but circumstances can change. Studies have shown that about 5% of men who've undergone a vasectomy choose to have it reversed down the road. It is possible through a vasectomy reversal to regain the ability to naturally conceive a child. A vasectomy reversal is also the most cost-effective way to have a child after a vasectomy compared to IVF and sperm retrieval.
How do you reverse a vasectomy?
The objective is to restore the flow of sperm into the ejaculate. The procedure is a relatively simple outpatient surgery that normally takes 2-4 hours. It includes finding the severed ends of the vas and putting back together under an operating microscope. This procedure is called the Vasovasostomy or Vas to Vas connection. During the surgery, the presence of sperm at the cut end of the vas deferens will be confirmed. If the fluid exiting the vas is good and contains moving sperm, a connection can be made. If no sperm is found, there might be a blockage closer to the testicles. If the Vas to Vas can't be made, the fertility doctor will choose to connect the vas deferens to the epididymis, the structure behind the testis that allows the sperm to mature. This second procedure is called the epididymal-vasectomy and is more complicated and often less successful.
We also offer our patients PESA (Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration) procedure as an alternative to a Vesectomy Reversal.
What Is the PESA?
The procedure to obtain sperm is called a percutaneous (through the skin) epididymal sperm aspiration, or PESA for short. It generally takes about 20 minutes to perform and the patient will walk quite normally afterward, with minimal recovery required. PESA is the most commonly performed of the vasectomy reversal alternatives. Sperm can also be obtained directly from the testicle in a similar procedure called TESA (Testicular Epididymal Sperm Aspiration), which is more painful and has a longer recovery time.
Given the advantages of IVF with PESA over vasectomy reversal surgery (no major surgery, retention of contraceptive effectiveness, high pregnancy rates, less time to pregnancy) it is rapidly becoming the more popular method for couples seeking pregnancy after a vasectomy. If you and your partner are considering pregnancy after a vasectomy, talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment option for you.
Please note: The Fertility Center does not accept Medicare or Medicaid.