Recently we got a question from a patient on the relationship of vasectomy reversal and birth control. The patient wanted to know if the vasectomy reversal procedure will increase the chance of birth defect. This blog post will specifically address this issue.
Back in 2006, a study conducted at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok showed that chromosomal abnormalities of sperms were more common in vasectomized men than men with healthy fertility. However, the authors of the study acknowledged that they were unsure whether these findings would support the theory that the risk of birth defects was higher after vasectomy reversal. So far, there have been no follow-up studies to confirm that such a link exists.
Although vasectomy reversal birth defects are among the possible risks discussed during the consultation, most men are pleased to hear that there is no definitive evidence to suggest that the rate of birth defects after vasectomy reversal is significantly higher than that among the general population. In fact, the rate of birth defects may actually be higher among those who achieve pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which has been indicated in many researches.
Here are statistics that help you to better understand this issue:
About 3 percent of all children born in the United States are born with major birth defects (or 6 to 7 percent when accounting for developmental abnormalities). The rate of birth defects after vasectomy reversal is slightly higher at 5 percent. On the other hand, research suggests that there is a greater risk of birth defects in both IVF (9 percent) and IVF-ICSI (8.6 percent) compared to their control group (4.2 percent).