If you’ve had a vasectomy in the past but want to have a family, it’s not impossible. Through a technique called Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR), our team of experts may still be able to find sufficient sperm which can be used to fertilise an egg.
SSR is a procedure where sperm is retrieved directly from the testes, as once you’ve had a vasectomy, there isn’t any sperm in your semen sample anymore – when this happens, it’s called azoospermia. However, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t sufficient sperm in your testes.
Once sperm has been retrieved, it is examined by our laboratory team and is then used in an ICSI procedure – a refinement of IVF where instead of the sperm being mixed with the egg, our embryologists select a single, best quality healthy sperm from the sample and inject it directly into the egg to fertilise it. Any resulting embryo is then transferred to your partner’s uterus to begin growing.
All SSR techniques are performed under a general anaesthetic, as a day case procedure, by our consultant urologist Steve Payne, who has considerable expertise in SSR and helping men who have had vasectomies in the past successfully go onto have children.
Any sperm recovered through SSR is usually frozen before the IVF/ICSI cycle commences so you know the viability of sperm available to achieve fertilisation, and your partner can begin treatment knowing that there is good quality sperm to use.
Last updated: 14th September 2011