Vasectomy for Infertile and Sub-fertile Men with Low Sperm Counts

by Alex Shteynshlyuger MD

If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call (646) 663-5922

Infertility Causes Vary – Chances of Spontaneous Pregnancy Through Vaginal Sex Vary as Well.

Infertility and vasectomyMen with a history of infertility who may have required treatment for infertility or a form of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) wonder if they should have a vasectomy.  Depending on the causes of infertility and the severity of infertility vasectomy may or may not be necessary.

Men with History of Subfertility

Many men experience problems with getting their partner pregnant due to subfertility usually caused by low sperm counts or poor sperm quality.  While they may not have been able to get their partner pregnant and may have required in vitro fertilization, there is a small risk that he may be able to impregnate their partner spontaneously.

Pregnancy depends on the fertility of each partner. The same man with slight subfertility may be able to get one partner pregnant if that partner does not have any fertility problems but may be unable to get another partner pregnant who has a slight or significant fertility problem on her own.

Men who underwent definitive treatment for infertility such as varicocele repair are often able to achieve pregnancy spontaneously and should consider vasectomy as an option for contraception if permanent contraception is their goal.

We know that 10-30% of infertile couples are able to achieve spontaneous pregnancy through vaginal intercourse over a period of years despite what appears to be profound infertility and prior need for in vitro fertilization.  If a man and his partner desire certainty, vasectomy in this situation is a reasonable approach.

Men with Severe Azoospermia

Men with severe azoospermia have very low or nearly negligible chance of spontaneous pregnancy.  They should discuss their particular situation with their urologist but they may not require vasectomy as the risk of spontaneous pregnancy tends to be fairly low, especially if azoospermia is caused by an underlying genetic problem or severe testicular dysfunction.

Men with Severe Oligospermia

Severity for oligospermia (low sperm concentration) varies and the risk of spontaneous pregnancy various with that, but in general, men with oligospermia may consider vasectomy depending on the age and fertility potential of their partner and their tolerance for risk of pregnancy.

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If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call (646) 663-5922