For couples who do not want any or any additional children, permanent birth control options such as vasectomies and tubal ligations are often a serious consideration. While many couples are attracted to the freedom that permanent birth control provides, it’s not uncommon for people to have a lingering “what if” in the back of their minds. The biggest “what if” that couples often face when considering permanent birth control is “what if I change my mind.”
Even if permanent birth control is currently the best option for you and your family, it’s impossible to predict whether or not you will change your mind in the future. However, there are ways that you can keep your options open, in case you ever do have a change of heart.
Fertility Preservation: Sperm & Egg Freezing
One way to preserve your fertility after undergoing a permanent birth control procedure is through cryopreservation. Some couples choose to freeze their sperm or eggs before undergoing vasectomy or tubal ligation procedures. If they change their minds in the future, they have a supply of eggs and/or sperm to use for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Between sperm freezing and egg freezing, pre-vasectomy sperm freezing is medically easier to accomplish. Semen is produced by the man, usually through masturbation, and collected into a sterile container. For women to freeze their eggs, they must undergo an egg retrieval procedure, which requires them to take self-injecting hormonal medications for several weeks, be monitored on a frequent basis to determine egg development, and go under general anesthesia so that the eggs can be extracted using a fine needle guided by transvaginal ultrasound.
Frozen sperm storage also typically costs less than frozen egg storage; on average, cryopreservation for sperm costs about $1,500 for five years while eggs cost about $2,600 for the same amount of time.
Permanent Birth Control Reversal
If cryopreservation isn’t an option, the next option would be vasectomy or tubal ligation reversal. Again, vasectomies retain the advantage, especially when working with a highly-skilled, experienced microsurgeon. In most cases, vasectomy reversals are straightforward, quick, simple, and have minimal recovery time. In comparison, tubal ligation reversals are yet another invasive surgery that has a longer recovery period. Furthermore, vasectomy reversals are more likely to successfully result in pregnancy.
For more information about vasectomies and fertility preservation options, contact San Diego Vasectomy Center today.