Categories: Reversal & IVF
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My husband had a reversal done in October of 2005. We recently had a sperm count done and the news was he has rare non-motile sperm. Is there a chance of getting pregnant or should we be looking at other options? I am 37 and he is 46. He does have children and I do not. Any information would be appreciated.Dr. Edward Karpman
Unfortunately, the chances of getting pregnant with only rare non-motile sperm is almost zero. The fact that these sperm are non-motile suggests that they are very poor in quality and therefore will be unable to penetrate the egg, let alone make it to the fallopian tubes, where fertilization occurs. It is also unfortunate that a semen analysis was not performed sooner after the vasectomy reversal. Normally, a semen analysis should be done 6-8 weeks after the surgery.
The two year interval that has transpired in this case, between vasectomy reversal and semen analysis, opens for speculation a couple of reasons why there is such a low sperm count. The first reason is that your husbands testicular function and sperm count for that matter has deteriorated since his last child was born. This happens to some men as they get older because of continued exposure to gonadotoxins or progressive testicular damage from a varicocele.
Another possibility which I think is more likely, is that some scar tissue has developed at the vasectomy reversal site, and sperm are not able to pass this site. The few that do make it by the scarring are damaged and not motile. Usually, scarring develops over a period of time after the vasectomy reversal and this is why earlier evaluation of your husbands semen might have proven helpful in understanding what is going on. Scar tissue at the vasectomy reversal site is reported in 5-10% of vasectomy reversals over the long-run and is more commonly associated with a NON microsurgical technique. Fortunately, in these cases, re-do vasectomy reversal is still very successful when it is performed by an experienced microsurgeon using a MICROSURGICAL technique.
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