Sperm Freezing For Pre/Post Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a safe and effective method of contraception among men. Globally, approximately 6% of couples practice birth control through vasectomy. There are a variety of reasons why individuals choose to undergo a vasectomy. Some men go through it to avoid the hassle of using a condom every time they have sex. Others opt for it to reduce the contraception burden on their female partners.

However, the prevalence of vasectomy as a contraceptive comes with the concerns of bearing a child in the future.

This article discusses an alternative for men who go through vasectomy but want a backup for procreation later in life.

  1. How Does Vasectomy Work?
  2. Does Vasectomy Cause Male Infertility?
  3. Does Vasectomy Reversal Restore Male Fertility?
  4. What Are Your Alternatives For Sperm Preservation?
  5. Why Sperm Freezing Before Vasectomy Is Beneficial?
  6. Can I Perform Sperm Freezing After Vasectomy?

How Does Vasectomy Work?

Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that provides men with an opportunity to control procreation. It involves tying up the vas deferens and stopping the transfer of sperm to the female reproductive tract during intercourse.

Vas deferens is a tubular structure that transports your sperm from the testes to the urethra for ejaculation.

When you go through a vasectomy, the doctor ties your vas deferens in the scrotal portion through a stitch or clip. It creates a physical barrier, but this process has a larger scope.

Within a few days post-vasectomy, a local inflammatory reaction happens. It anchors the obstruction further by creating a scar-like structural change at the site.

Does Vasectomy Cause Male Infertility?

If you take a sperm analysis test a few weeks after vasectomy, your semen will show no sperm. It, however, does not equate to male infertility per se. Your testes continue producing sperm after a vasectomy; at least for a substantial amount of time.

The manufacturing process stays intact, but transport stops. Later on, your body adjusts to this change and alters spermatogenesis as well.

In any case, you cannot reproduce after a vasectomy unless you have frozen your sperm or reverse the vasectomy

Does Vasectomy Reversal Restore Male Fertility?

Vasectomy reversal is a procedure that allows you to restore the ability to transfer sperm to the female reproductive tract. The quality of those sperm, though, is an entirely different story.

Research shows that 6% to 10% of men seek vasectomy reversal later in life. This proportion increases in the younger population. You may want a vasectomy reversal if:

  • You desire to bear a child later in life, mainly if the vasectomy is done at a young age
  • You may divorce or remarry and decide to have children with a different female partner

These are valid reasons, but vasectomy reversal comes with baggage. The success rate also varies according to the skills of the surgeon doing it.

You may have trouble conceiving after a successful vasectomy reversal. According to researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the success rate of pregnancy after vasectomy reversal is approximately 30 to 50%.

The reasons are as follows:

  • After a vasectomy, sperm cells gradually go out of your body’s memory system. So, often after reversal, your body detects them as foreign particles and makes antibodies against sperm. These antibodies attack and destroy sperm quality.
  • Experts hypothesize that you may experience a decline in sperm motility, sperm count and concentration, or overall quality.

Therefore, successful vasectomy reversal does not always lead to a pregnancy.

What Are Your Alternatives For Sperm Preservation?

You have two options besides taking your chances with a vasectomy reversal:

  • You can retrieve sperm from testes through surgical procedures and use them in assisted reproductive techniques to cause pregnancy.
  • You can opt for sperm freezing before undergoing a vasectomy and use them later in life.

Why Sperm Freezing Before Vasectomy Is Beneficial?

Pre-vasectomy sperm banking also allows you to avoid invasive procedures for pregnancy. Therefore, the curve bends in favor of sperm freezing.

Sperm banking before vasectomy is also a superior option because it does not damage your sperm quality or DNA and iIt saves you from surgical procedures involved in vasectomy reversal

Can I Perform Sperm Freezing After Vasectomy?

If you have already undergone vasectomy but want to freeze your sperm, it is possible.

You can opt for sperm aspiration after vasectomy. The process includes introducing a needle in testes for direct collection.

The time duration is critical. The earlier you do it, the better because spermatogenesis loses its momentum with time.

It is better to perform a semen analysis on a post-vasectomy sample to judge sperm quality before freezing.

  1. Potts, J M et al. “Patient characteristics associated with vasectomy reversal.” The Journal of urology vol. 161,6 (1999): 1835-9.
  2. Badrakumar, C et al. “Semen analysis after vasectomy: when and how many?.” BJU international vol. 86,4 (2000): 479-81.
  3. Bernie, Aaron M et al. “Vasectomy reversal in humans.” Spermatogenesis vol. 2,4 (2012): 273-278.

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