IVF vs. Vasectomy Reversal
Did you previously have a vasectomy to avoid unwanted pregnancies? What should you do if you and your female partner have decided you want to have kids together? There are two primary options for starting on the path to parenthood: in vitro fertilization (IVF) and vasectomy reversal. Consider what each process entails to help you make an informed decision.
How Does IVF Work?
In vitro fertilization aims to bypass all infertility problems by combining the woman’s egg and the man’s sperm outside the body. The resulting embryo is implanted into the woman’s uterus, where it will hopefully grow and develop into a baby.
When performing IVF after a vasectomy, a urologist must extract sperm surgically. This comes at a greater cost and higher risk than retrieving sperm naturally. Eggs must also be removed from the woman’s ovaries after delivering a cycle of hormones designed to stimulate the release of multiple eggs.
The risks associated with IVF are quite high. The mother and baby face the chance of serious complications, some of which may be life-long. The cost is also three to five times higher than vasectomy reversal surgery. Plus, IVF must be repeated with each failed attempt, often at a considerable emotional and financial cost.
How Does Vasectomy Reversal Work?
A vasectomy reversal is a restorative procedure design to reconnect the severed ends of the vas deferens, the tubes through which sperm travel from the testicles to the urethra. The procedure takes two to three hours to complete and should be performed by an experienced microsurgeon to reduce the risks and improve the chances of success.
If the procedure is successful, male fertility is restored, giving the couple a chance to conceive naturally without treating the female partner. A vasectomy reversal also makes it possible to have multiple children over the years without undergoing any further medical intervention.
Be aware that it can take several months after a vasectomy reversal for the female partner to become pregnant. Of course, even if sperm starts presenting in the ejaculate like normal, pregnancy depends on the female partner’s fertility as well. If she has contributing issues, IVF may be the only option after all.
Deciding Between IVF and Vasectomy Reversal
Every couple should consider what’s best for them when pursuing parenthood after a vasectomy. However, because of the costs and risks associated with IVF, a reversal with natural conception makes the most sense for a majority of couples.
We recommend starting your journey with a consultation at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. Our highly skilled and experienced microsurgeon, Dr. Joshua Green, is a leader in vasectomy reversal surgery. All infertility procedures we offer are performed using a state-of-the-art, high-powered operating microscope. Our patients benefit from Dr. Green’s remarkable success rates and enjoy concierge-level care and friendly staff interactions every step of the way.
To discuss your infertility treatment options, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation online.
Celebrity Infertility Spotlight: Chrissy Teigen and the Heartbreak of Miscarriage
Some celebrities are deeply protective of their privacy when it comes to their personal lives. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are one couple who have been extremely open about theirs. They’ve talked openly about their struggles with infertility and IVF, and earlier this year shared their joy over a surprise pregnancy. Sadly, that pregnancy has ended in a miscarriage. Teigen has been candid about her devastation over the end of the pregnancy as well, and there’s something very beneficial about someone being so willing to share her joy and pain. It helps other women going through the rollercoaster ride of infertility know that they are not alone.
Infertility affects about one in eight people. Often, it’s difficult to even discern the problem, and certainly, Chrissy Teigen’s experience illustrates this. Young and healthy, with a healthy husband, she struggled for years before undergoing IVF. In vitro fertilization is emotionally stressful and physically taxing, involving lifestyle changes, medications, and seemingly endless procedures. It doesn’t always work and sometimes ends in miscarriage. What’s more, many women go through this experience feeling alone because infertility is a taboo topic.
Something else that’s taboo is miscarriage, though it’s an experience shared by as many as one in four women. For Chrissy Teigen, it happened at the end of last month. When celebrities are open about their joys and pain, it helps open dialogue about difficult topics. If you’ve suffered a miscarriage, there are a few things to remember.
- It’s ok to talk about it. Talking about it can be beneficial, not just for you but for others. It may surprise you to discover how many people you know have had similar experiences. The loss of a pregnancy is an isolating event but talking about it can help you heal.
- Take the time to grieve. It can be hard to cope after a miscarriage, and some feelings of grief can resurface much later, particularly on the anniversary of the loss or what would have been the baby’s birthday. Doing something meaningful to honor your baby may bring you some peace.
- Be gentle with each other. You and your partner will go through this together, even if you feel like you’re going through it alone. Men sometimes don’t want to talk about things like this, but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel them deeply. After their miscarriage, John Legend wrote of the experience, “What an awesome gift it is to be able to bring life into the world. We’ve experienced the miracle, the power and joy of this gift, and now we’ve deeply felt its inherent fragility.”
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we’re committed to helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.
Sperm Retrieval for IVF: What to Expect
After a vasectomy, in some cases, men who want to start a family are better candidates for sperm retrieval than a vasectomy reversal. Sperm retrieval is performed as part of in-vitro fertilization, or IVF. This option is necessary in the case of azoospermia, which means that there is no sperm present in the ejaculate. During sperm retrieval, sperm is removed directly from the epididymis so that it can be used in IVF procedures. If your vasectomy reversal surgeon recommends this procedure, here is what you can expect.
Sperm Retrieval Through MESA
Sperm retrieval is performed using the MESA procedure, or Microscopic Epididymal Sperm Aspiration. It is performed using an operating microscope, so your surgeon can see exactly where sperm is located in the epididymal tubules. Through the use of the operating microscope, it is possible for your surgeon to remove the sperm with as little damage as possible to the surrounding structures and with as little blood and other fluid as possible. This increases the chances of success during IVF.
MESA is usually performed under local anesthesia, though some patients receive spinal blocks or general anesthesia. During the procedure, once you receive the anesthesia that the surgeon deems appropriate for you, he or she will make a series of small incisions in order to access the epididymal tubes. Using the microscope, he or she will remove the sperm from the tubes and frozen for use in future IVF sessions. Generally, it is possible to get enough sperm for multiple rounds of IVF during one MESA procedure.
MESA is a minimally invasive procedure, and recovery is usually fast. It’s normal to have some swelling and tenderness for a few days after MESA that is easily controlled with pain medications. Most people return to normal activities within a few days.
MESA is one of the procedures offered at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota. Dr. Green can help you decide if vasectomy reversal or another procedure, such as MESA, is the best fit for you. Schedule an appointment today by calling (941) 894-6428.
Using the MESA Procedure with IVF
If you have had a vasectomy and you either don’t want to have a reversal procedure or your vasectomy reversal was not successful, the MESA procedure can be used with IVF to help you and your partner achieve a pregnancy. Dr. Green performs this procedure and works closely with a local IVF specialist to help couples for whom vasectomy reversal is not the answer to their fertility issues.
During a MESA procedure, Dr. Green removes sperm directly from the epididymis. The sperm is then provided to the IVF specialist, who will use it to fertilize an egg, that is then implanted in the female partner. This procedure works well if vasectomy reversal was not successful or if the female partner has fertility issues that prevent a natural conception
If you are interested in using MESA in conjunction with IVF to start a family, contact Dr. Green at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota. Schedule a consultation by calling (941) 894-6428.
Vasectomy Reversal and IVF: Considering Your Options for Starting a Family
The decision to start a family should be a joyous one, but male infertility can present a formidable obstacle. There are a few options for starting a family despite previously having a vasectomy. Before making any decisions, have a careful discussion with your partner, your primary care physician, and the vasectomy reversal surgeon.
Steps of Vasectomy Reversal
A reversal surgery involves making anatomical changes that allow sperm to once again be present in the man’s semen. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, a reversal has a good chance of success. It requires making small incisions, removing scar tissue in the area, and reconnecting the previously severed ends of the vas deferens.
Steps of IVF
In vitro fertilization has helped countless couples become pregnant , but couples should know that multiple cycles may be needed. The basic steps of IVF involve aspirating sperm from the male partner. This is a surgical procedure. The female partner is started on fertility drugs, and then her eggs are harvested in a minimally invasive procedure. The aspirated sperm fertilizes the eggs in a laboratory, and then one or more embryos are implanted into the uterus.
Reasons to Choose a Reversal
Vasectomy reversal surgeries are often the method of choice for couples who otherwise have no major fertility concerns. This is particularly true if the reversal surgery is performed within a few years of the original vasectomy, as the chances of a successful reversal are quite favorable. Before moving forward with the reversal, both partners should receive a thorough medical evaluation that specifically checks for health issues that may contribute to infertility. Even if one or both individuals have a proven reproductive track record, infertility can strike later on.
Reasons to Choose IVF
If there are any medical issues that would inhibit the natural conception of a child, then it may be preferable to choose sperm aspiration with IVF instead. Often, couples opt for IVF when the woman is 35 years of age or older. Each year that passes after this age, a woman’s fertility declines further. The chances of naturally conceiving a child decline with it, but IVF can overcome this barrier.
Dr. Joshua Green is widely known as a leading expert in the field of male infertility procedures. He performs vasectomy reversals and microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration procedures. Call (941) 894-6428 to request an appointment at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota.
What Is IVF Really Like?
VF cycles take four to six weeks to complete. From a distance, the steps involved with this infertility procedure seem fairly simple: Administer fertility drugs, retrieve the eggs, fertilize the eggs, and transfer the embryo. But in actuality, one IVF cycle is a time-intensive, emotionally challenging endeavor that may or may not result in pregnancy. Before you and your partner decide to go through an IVF cycle, both of you should be keenly familiar with what’s involved.
Women must inject themselves with fertility drugs.
If you’re the female partner and you have a needle phobia, you might consider seeing a psychologist or a hypnotist to help you get through the cycle. Two medications must be injected subcutaneously: One to stimulate egg development, and one to prevent ovulation from happening too soon. One of these medications is given for 21 days, and must be injected into the abdomen or thigh. Another is usually injected for nine days. To make matters a little more complicated, some fertility drugs must be reconstituted from powder before being injected.
There will be lots of office visits.
Try to choose an IVF clinic as close to your home as possible, as you’ll be driving there very frequently. You’ll have a couple of initial office visits, followed by office visits every one to two days, usually starting on day five of stimulation. These appointments are for cycle monitoring, and they require an ultrasound and blood test. After cycle monitoring, you’ll have a few more office visits to complete the cycle.
Some additional procedures may be necessary.
Sometimes, an IVF cycle isn’t as simple as stimulating the ovaries, retrieving the eggs, and transferring the embryo. Men may not be able to contribute a semen sample conventionally. They may need to see a vasectomy reversal surgeon for the MESA technique, which involves the surgical extraction of sperm to fertilize the eggs.
The Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota is a leading destination for couples seeking infertility procedures. Dr. Joshua Green specializes in vasectomy reversals and in the MESA technique for the surgical retrieval of sperm. Couples can call our office at (941) 894-6428.
FAQs and Answers About IVF
After treating male infertility with a vasectomy reversal , further infertility procedures, including IVF, may be necessary. IVF, or in vitro fertilization, has a proven track record of helping couples overcome infertility and start their families. If your doctor has recommended that you consider IVF, you are likely to have many questions about what to expect. Here are the answers to some of the queries couples frequently have as they weigh the idea of having IVF.
When should I consider IVF?
IVF can be helpful in achieving pregnancy in the presence of multiple fertility issues. It can help women with endometriosis and Fallopian tube issues achieve a pregnancy. It may also be recommended for couples facing male infertility. Couples who are experiencing unexplained infertility can also benefit from IVF treatment.
What happens during an IVF cycle?
During an IVF cycle, women first take daily injections to stop menstruation for about two weeks, and then take follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) injections to boost the number of eggs in the ovaries. FSH injections usually last for about 10-12 days. Eggs are then retrieved during a short procedure, which is performed under a mild anesthesia. After the eggs are retrieved, they will be fertilized with sperm from the partner. Sperm can be collected by a fertility expert, if necessary. One to two fertilized embryos are then implanted in the uterus in hopes of achieving a pregnancy.
What can I do to make IVF successful?
Going into IVF as healthy as possible can increase your chances of success. Focus on healthy eating and exercise, and if you smoke, quit. IVF can also be emotionally trying. Your doctor will discuss ways to reduce your stress during treatment with you, so that you and your partner are as healthy as you can be once treatment begins.
The Center for Vasectomy Reversal is pleased to offer male infertility procedures in Sarasota to help our patients achieve their dreams of starting a family. Contact us today at (941) 894-6428 to make an appointment.
Getting Ready for IVF
If you undergo male infertility procedures , including vasectomy reversal, it may then be necessary to have another treatment, such as in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to achieve a pregnancy. IVF can be a lengthy and stressful process, so it’s important to prepare together as a couple. With some time spent planning, IVF can be less overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. Here are some things you can do to prepare for IVF treatments.
Arming yourself with as much information as possible about IVF can help you feel more in control of a process that has so many uncertainties. Talk to your vasectomy reversal surgeon about what to expect from your procedure and the success rates for IVF after a reversal. The IVF clinic can also provide extensive information about that procedure and what to expect before, during, and after. Review all of the information thoroughly and ask questions. Understanding what is ahead will make things easier to manage.
There are several important decisions you will need to make during IVF, including how many embryos to be transferred, what to do with the remaining embryos, and how many cycles of IVF you are prepared to undergo. Although you don’t know the outcome of the IVF process, you can anticipate some of these issues that may arise and decide how you will handle them. For instance, you may have religious or moral convictions that govern how you feel about dealing with unused embryos, so you can have a plan in place that can go into action if that circumstance arises.
Plan for the Waiting Period
The waiting period between the embryo transfer and pregnancy test is often the most trying part of IVF. Decide what you’ll do to occupy yourself during this time and where you want to be when you hear the results of your test. Staying busy and positive while you wait can make the days go faster.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota, FL, Dr. Green works closely with IVF experts to facilitate infertility procedures for couples trying to conceive after vasectomy reversals . To learn more, please call (941) 894-6428.
What Men Should Know About IVF
Some men initially resist the idea of trying in vitro fertilization (IVF) because it can sometimes feel emasculating to admit that infertility is an issue. Others may assume that assisted reproduction isn’t even an option if a vasectomy reversal has failed. But both of these assumptions interfere with the ultimate goal of conceiving a child. For credible information about resolving male infertility, men can turn to a vasectomy reversal surgeon.
You might still need to undergo surgical sperm retrieval.
Most men are familiar with the concept of ejaculating into a collection cup to provide sperm that will be used to fertilize eggs in a laboratory. But for many men, surgical sperm retrieval is necessary. After sperm are produced in the testicles, they depart via the epididymis, which is a coiled tube. The epididymis is connected to the prostate via a tube called the vas deferens. The vas deferens forms the ejaculatory duct with a seminal vesicle. Normally, these structures allow sperm to mix with other fluids to form the semen that is then ejaculated. A few medical problems can occur that prevent sperm from mixing into the semen. If this applies to you, you may need to have a surgeon extract sperm directly from the testicles or the epididymis tubes.
The IVF cycles will be incredibly stressful for both of you.
Many men are unprepared for the rollercoaster of emotions that accompany a typical IVF cycle. It’s possible to switch from feeling incredibly hopeful to feeling devastated in the amount of time it takes a pregnancy test to show results. As stressful as the experience is for you, you should remember that your partner is having a more difficult time. Show your love and support.
Following a healthy lifestyle is still important.
After making the decision to have surgical sperm retrieval and IVF, you might assume that healthy lifestyle choices are no longer important. But actually, your lifestyle decisions can directly influence the health of your sperm. Until you get a positive pregnancy test, you should avoid alcohol, consume a healthy diet, and avoid activities that can overheat your reproductive region.
Even if you’ve previously had a failed vasectomy reversal, a skilled surgeon may be able to restore your fertility. Contact Dr. Green at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal at (941) 961-4581 and learn more about our infertility procedures in Sarasota. We extend accommodating services to out-of-town patients.
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, can help you and your spouse conceive if female or male infertility is affecting your ability to have a child. This procedure may also be recommended if you have undergone one or more unsuccessful vasectomy reversals in the past.
This video explains the IVF procedure in detail. During IVF, eggs and sperm are collected separately, then combined in a laboratory. The fertilized embryos are returned to the uterus, where one or more may came to term. IVF is one of many infertility procedures you may consider, and is often a last resort when other options fail.
Do you have questions about IVF or other infertility procedures in Sarasota? Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal and Male Infertility specializes in vasectomy reversal and microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration for couples choosing IVF. Please call (941) 961-4581 or visit us online to learn more.
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