Should I Freeze Sperm Before a Vasectomy?
Vasectomy is an increasingly common choice for men and their partners who feel that they have completed their families. In fact, more than 50 million men worldwide have had a vasectomy. While many men think long and hard about getting a vasectomy, sometimes life can throw a curveball and change our plans.
In fact, up to 3-6% of men will ultimately decide that they would like to reverse their vasectomy. For these men, the decision may stem from a new relationship, the loss of a child, or simply a change of heart. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan. Read on to discover why freezing your sperm might make sense before getting your vasectomy.
Keeping your options open
While you may feel complete in your family or feel that you do not desire children, there is no guarantee that life circumstances won’t alter these feelings. Of course, a change of heart may be remote enough that vasectomy remains an excellent choice due to its long-term effectiveness, convenience and safety. Yet, banking sperm before vasectomy allows men a certain relief that although they have chosen permanent contraception, they still have the option to grow their family if a life situation impacts the decision down the road.
Maintaining sperm quality
As men age, sperm quality begins to decline. While more research has focused on the difficulties older women have when trying to conceive, there is good evidence that having an older father increases the risk of certain problems, including miscarriage, birth defects, and childhood cancers.
By banking sperm now, men can freeze higher-quality sperm for future use. Sperm banks freeze sperm at -196o C, a temperature that indefinitely stops metabolic activity and prevents sperm from aging or becoming damaged. Years or even decades later, the sperm can be thawed and used. There’s typically an initial charge and an annual fee. And while sperm banks have been around for a long time, recent scientific advancements have made sperm banking more effective, convenient and affordable. Banking sperm allows a man to preserve his fertility and increase the likelihood of fertilization and conception, making it a viable option for future peace of mind.
Vasectomy reversal is not guaranteed
While vasectomy reversal is highly effective, with 9 out of 10 men ultimately having adequate sperm in the semen sample, this process may take a year or longer. Importantly, adequate sperm does not always translate into a new addition to the family. Pregnancy rates after vasectomy reversal range between 20-50%, depending on the amount of time since vasectomy, the type of vasectomy reversal, as well as the man—and his partner’s— health. Additionally, vasectomy reversal is often not covered by health insurance, making it financially challenging for some men.
Choosing peace of mind
Banking sperm is often the last thing on a man’s mind when thinking about a vasectomy. However, nothing in life is guaranteed, and you can feel rest assured that you’re able to change your mind and have other options available to you. Banking your sperm before your vasectomy provides peace of mind while allowing you to pursue one of the most effective methods of contraception.