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A vasectomy is a straightforward procedure to cut the man’s sperm ducts. This method of contraception has become increasingly popular in recent years as many women speak out against taking hormonal contraceptives.

Almost every tenth man undergoes this procedure these days, but over 30 per cent of them later develop a desire to have children with a new partner. The vasectomy then becomes a serious problem, both for the man and the new relationship.

If a man would like to reproduce again following a vasectomy, there is a possibility of a re-fertilisation operation, the severed sperm ducts are put back together. The likelihood that fertility is restored becomes increasingly worse as time goes on. If the vasectomy took place more than ten years ago, the success rate drops significantly because the male testes will have mostly stopped producing sperm cells.

In many cases, a vasectomised man undergoes an epididymal puncture (MESA) or testicular puncture (TESE) so that semen for artificial insemination can be obtained. This procedure can be carried out on an outpatient basis at the Kinderwunsch Institut Dr Loimer by a urologist. The sperm material obtained is usually cryopreserved (frozen in liquid nitrogen) and then used for fertilisation of the egg cells after hormonal stimulation of the partner. Since the quality of semen following MESA or TESE is usually limited, the ICSI method is used as part of the fertility treatment. Insemination with TESE material is unfortunately not possible.