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Is artificial insemination possible after a vasectomy?

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  • Retired account

    I have heard that there is a procedure that can be done if a man has had a vasectomy where sperm is taken from the man (using a needle) and injected into the egg through in vitro-fertilization. I can’t seem to find any information on the possibility of extracting the sperm from the man and simply using the old fashioned “turkey baster” method. Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to just squirt the sperm into the woman’s vagina, especially if she has a history of getting pregnant very easily? Thank you!

    Dr. Edward Karpman

    Testicular and/or epididymal sperm aspiration is an alternative to vasectomy reversal for couples who desire to get pregnant after a vasectomy. However, this sperm can only be used for in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI). This is the process where the sperm is directly injected into the the egg. Simply inseminating the female partner in the vagina or uterus (Intrauterine insemination – IUI) with sperm retrieved from the testicle or epididymis will not be successful, regardless of how fertile the female partner might be. Sperm that has been retrieved from the testicle/epididymis is not adequately mature to penetrate (fertilize) the egg. This is why we won’t even use testicular/epididymal sperm for conventional IVF. One study found that the overall fertilization rate using epididymal sperm is 45% with IVF/ICSI and only 6.9% with conventional IVF. Testicular and Epididymal sperm can only be used with IVF/ICSI.

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