Conceiving After a Vasectomy: What are the choices?
Your husband had a vasectomy and now you both decide that you
want to have children. Your friends tell you that you have to adopt
because vasectomy reversal either is very expensive or doesn't
always work. Is adoption truly your only option?
You actually have three options: vasectomy reversal, a procedure
called microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) followed
by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in-vitro fertilization
(IVF), or adoption. Assuming that you want to have a biological
child, the first two options are the only ones open to you at this
Option #1: Vasectomy Reversal
Vasectomy reversal, although it tends to have a bad name, does
work. One study showed that 78% of the procedures they
performed ended in a pregnancy. Obviously some of the time,
vasectomy reversal does not work. In terms of cost, this study put
the average cost per delivery per couple in the case of vasectomy
reversal to be $14,892.
Option #2: MESA/ICSI/IVF
Don't worry if this alphabet soup seems to be confusing. MESA
stands for microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration, which means
that sperm are removed from the man. Remember that having a
vasectomy means only that sperm are not ejaculated, not that
sperm are no longer made. MESA is followed up by ICSI
(intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
This means that the sperm that are collected from the man are then
used to fertilize some eggs from the woman, which are then
implanted in her uterus. The pregnancy rate for MESA/ICSI/IVF
was 67% and only 56% reported delivery. The average cost per
delivery for MESA/ICSI/IVF was $35,570.
Option #3: Adoption
Adoption, while certainly a good thing to look into, may take some
time. The amount of time and money involved will vary a great deal
depending on the specifics of where you live and where the child is
coming from. The entire adoption process can take anywhere from
one to nine years. There are also some legal fees involved,
although these typically are not as steep as the price tags for either
of the above options.
The Bottom Line
What you decide to do depends a great deal on how much time
and money you are willing to put into your efforts to have a child.
The best bet is to meet with you doctor to determine the actual
cost of either a vasectomy reversal or MESA/ICSI/IVF. Develop a
timetable with your doctor so that you will know how long the entire
process will take. Then look into adoption to find out how
expensive it is and how long it would probably take. Use these
estimates to make your decision.