I received notification of World Vasectomy Day and got quite a chuckle. Not because I don’t believe that men should also take part in planning their families and carrying some of the responsibility of the reproductive process, but because I often see as patients the people who change their mind and want a vasectomy reversal.
There can be many reasons that prompt the changed decision, including a new marriage, an empty nest, a couple who changes their mind, or a change in job or financial situation that then allows for a larger family to love on.
Couples often come to realize that of all the gifts we give our children, a sibling is one of the greatest.
So after reading about World Vasectomy Day you find yourself wishing you didn’t have a vasectomy, here’s what you should do:
- Consult your local reproductive endocrinologist to get a unified plan.
- Determine the likelihood that a vasectomy reversal will work and consider the time your partner has to conceive before her eggs become “too old.”
- If there is less time for your female partner (she is close to 40 years old) and your odds of a vasectomy reversal working are low, consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) with sperm retrieval.
If you decide to proceed with IVF, the male partner will need an outpatient sperm retrieval that can be relatively pain-free and uses a needle to extract just enough sperm to use with IVF. Then the female partner will undergo two weeks of fertility shots, and her eggs will also be retrieved with a needle. Eggs and sperm will be combined in a petri dish and five days later the best embryo or embryos will be transferred back into the uterus.
The good thing about this approach is that the male partner still has a form of contraception after IVF, assuming the IVF worked and you have completed your family!