Categories: Reversal & IVF
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My partner & I are considering a vasectomy reversal in a bid to start a family. He is anxious about the risks associated with reversals & birth defects. What are the risks for the unborn baby & where can I find out more information on these risks?Dr. Edward Karpman
The short answer is that there is no data showing that vasectomy reversal causes babies to have any type of birth defects or any complications during pregnancy. This is the most natural method of getting pregnant after a vasectomy. Vasectomy reversal simply puts the tubes (vas deferens) back together. The process of getting pregnant is the same as if you never had a vasectomy reversal. People often talk about developing anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) after a vasectomy. This occurs in nearly every man. If anything, ASA might prevent the sperm from moving quickly or fertilizing the egg. Once egg fertilization occurs, however, the fate of the embryo is dependent on the quality of genetic material (DNA) in the egg and sperm and independent of any ASA. Despite the universal presence of ASA we are able to get 60-70% of couples pregnant after a vasectomy reversal. There is a small rate of birth defects in couples who have not had a vasectomy reversal and this same percentage would apply to the couple who is trying to conceive after a vasectomy reversal.
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