Sperm retrieval can be performed during your vasectomy reversal operation as a backup, just in case you still have problems concieving after the operation. This might be particularly useful for men who are worried about the success of the vasectomy reversal, perhaps because they’ve had previously unsuccessful procedures elsewhere or their vasectomy was done a long time ago.
How is the sperm retrieval procedure done?
Fluid from the epididymis (the gland next to the testicle which transports sperms to the vas tubes) is extracted during the vasectomy reversal operation and examined under a microscope to look for viable sperm cells. If necessary, sperm cells can be extracted from the testicle itself by taking a biopsy. The cells are handed to our embryologist who is present throughout the procedure examining samples immediately under a high powered microscope. They will cryo-preserve the sperm immediately (ie put the sperm into a deep freeze). This will ensure the sperms are kept alive and healthy until needed.
What is stored sperm used for?
Stored sperm can be kept for many years. If you have problems concieving after your vasectomy reversal, the stored sperm can be used for IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation). An egg is removed from your partner and the egg and sperm are combined in the lab. Once the embryologist has confirmed the egg is fertilised, it is put back into your partner’s womb.
Whilst the sperm is stored at CARE in Nottingham, if you need to use the sperm for IVF, it can be moved to a centre of your choice, closer to where you live.
How do I arrange for sperm saving to be done?
Just ask! Only a few surgeons perform sperm saving as part of their vasectomy reversal service. Gurminder Mann provides a rounded total approach so you can get the treatment you want. In order to do sperm saving for you, we need to make arrangements in advance so that the embryologist can be present so you must tell us when you make your booking.
The sperm saving would be supervised by CARE who will send you all the required information and consent forms. The Embryologist will also see you on the day of the procedure to answer any further questions.
You will also need some extra blood tests, which you can organise through your GP before you come. You need to have an HIV test and tests for hepatitis B (surface and core antigen) and hepatitis C. You will need to post these to CARE so they are received before your operation. It may take over a week for you to get any test results back.
What is the cost of sperm saving?
The sperm saving will cost an additional £690 for sperm retrieval. Storage will cost an additional £250-£275 per year (depending on whether payment is made by direct debit). Sperm can be transferred to a non-CARE UK fertility clinic for £395 or an overseas fertility clinic for £950.
For further details about sperm saving and the costs, please visit CARE, the embryology and fertility specialists who do the sperm saves with us.