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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vasectomy Reversal or Sperm Retrieval and In-vitro: Which Should You Do?

I just saw a patient today for a vasectomy reversal consult and asked me a question that many people ask, "Doc, isn't there anything else I can do?"

The answer is "Of course there is. Only the other options are either not as good, more expensive, or both."

The other options are sperm retrieval followed by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or donor sperm and assisted reproduction (ART) or adoption. Nothing against those last 2 options, most people who come to my office or who read my blog want their own biological child. So that leaves only 2 options: vas reversal or sperm retrieval with IVF.

So which is best?

The answer is "it depends."

It depends on. . .

  • the female partner's age
  • the skill of the vasectomy reversal doctor
  • the time interval since the vasectomy in years
  • the number of IVF attempts you can afford
If you knew all these things, and you had a great statistical mind, you could plug the answers into a computer program and get an number.  The number would be a probability of success--pregnancy--after either course of action.

If you did not have a great statistics knowledge, you could hire a statistician to find out the answer.

That is what I did.  

If you want to know what you should do, click here.