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Zero sperm count following VAS reversal

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

The surgeon tells us that due to the original vasectomy, (even though the tubes were reattached succesfully), the zero sperm count is probably due to a blockage in the epididymis which can happen due to a backlog of dead sperm which can collect after the vasectomy. Unfortunately, in some cases the dead sperm fail to clear and even if the tubes are joined together again, the live sperm cannot find their way through.


This is assuming he had sperm in the first place as we've not had children previously.


As his infertility is most probably due to the original vasectomy, we are unlikely to get help with IVF. We will see our GP together next week, but we're devastated.


It's a long shot, but has anyone got any helpful suggestions? Sperm donation is not something we will consider. I only want his baby. I am 40 this year. I only want one baby. This just isn't fair.



post #2 of 25

Oh honey, I am so sorry. Do you know how the original vas preformed, or if the reversal surgeon is capable of trying to preform surgery to clear the blockage, called an http://www.maleinfertility.org/new-vasoepididymostomy.html#what1?


You can try something called ICSI, where they'll collect the sperm directly from the testes and then use it to fertilize an egg. It's not as successful as IVF or IUI though. I just went through a vas reversal in 2010 and even though he produces sperm, I've had two consecutive miscarriages.


*hugs* It shouldn't be this hard to have your husband's baby. I've been there.


post #3 of 25

I'm sorry for your news. I completely understand how hard it is. In 2008 we found out that my DH had a zero sperm count. In our case, he turned out to have testicular cancer. After the cancerous testicle was removed and he had chemo, the remaining testicle is still showing zero. Definitely look into TESE (testicular sperm extraction). They can extract sperm directly from the testicle and use it in IVF via ICSI. That's how we're moving forward. PM me if you have any questions about the TESE procedure. *hugs*

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. Thanks Rose - i can't face looking at that at the mo - still really tender and fragile. We'll have a good chat over the weekend, and then I'll look at those links. I really appreciate your support, it's invaluable.


i never thought fort a second that their would be a zero sperm count. It totally sucks. I know I'm not on my own, and that does help. all the best with your IVF bungalowmama - sorry, don't know your name. You've been through so much as well - hope your journey is successful honey.


We should never had gone through with the vasectomy in the first place. We were both under 35 with no kids - it's amazing they allowed him to go forward with it. We can see a lot with hind sight though. Isn't it weird how much you change when you're in your late thirties. I'll log on again next week.


Thanks again dear ladies.



post #5 of 25

I just wanted to say that my friend's husband had a vasectomy before they met. Her husband has sperm removed from his testes and then she did IUI. She has a 4 yr old and used the remainder of the sperm (which has been frozen since her conception) to recently conceive another baby. So hold on to some hope!



post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cindy. It all depends if we can get funding for it. We'll see what the future brings.



post #7 of 25

Beth- I'm sorry that you are having to go through this. I have been there. My dh had a vasectomy long before we met. He had it reversed in 2002 and it closed up. The office that did the analysis called and congratulated us on zero sperm. Idiots!! They read the paper wrong and thought he had a vasectomy. My heart completely shattered that day. We went on the hunt for a vas reversal specialist and found one in florida (Since passed away) and had another reversal done in 2005. We just recently got pregnant with the help of IUI and fear it's closing up again. His numbers were REALLY low. 


Did he not have anything right after the surgery? Is it possible it's closed up? I'm so sorry, I didn't see where you said when he had it done so I wasn't sure why the doctor thought it was a blockage.

post #8 of 25

Vegan Princess, are you sure your friend did IUI after a testicular sperm extraction, and not IVF w/ICSI? My husband has an injury that is equivalent to a vasectomy- a piece of metal sliced through his vas deferns when he was in an accident when he was 18 yrs old. Our RE and everything we read told us that sperm extracted directly from the testicles cannot fertilize an egg on its own, but must be injected into the egg through ICSI. We used his extracted sperm to do IVF w/ICSI and had our twin girls 3 years ago. We got pregnant on the first round of IVF because luckily I turned out to have no fertility issues at all.


Bumblebeth, if you don't have issues, the chances of success through IVF w/ICSI with your husband's sperm are very high. It's expensive but not too bad once you go through it. Best wishes for you and your husband!

post #9 of 25
I'm 100% positive it was iui. She said the clinic tried to get her to do ivf bc the count and motility were so bad. But it worked first try both times. And the second time was with frozen sperm so the count, etc was likely even worse.

post #10 of 25

Interesting! Perhaps they were able to remove sperm from a location farther along the path out, and not directly from the testicles. I recall that if sperm can be extracted from the epididymus, it can penetrate the egg. Maybe that's what your friends did? Unfortunately that wasn't an option for us, but could be something for the OP to look into. 

post #11 of 25

Very interesting. I don't know the specifics of what they did to him. Just that she gives me hope. :-)



post #12 of 25

We have a very similar story.  DH had a vasectomy when we were in our early twenties.  We did have one doctor refuse, so we found another one.  If we only knew...

We had it reversed 16 years later (2008).  He had some sperm then, but anti-sperm antibodies were a concern.  In a short amount of time he had blockage and now there is no sperm getting through.  We cringe at this because we could have TTC sooner, but were waiting for the 'perfect time'.  Three years later, I am now 40 and still no baby.  We have gone from "we won't do anything" to considering our options as the ache of empty arms is starting to have it's influence on 'his baby only' stance.  However, we have not given up and moved on quite yet.  We have been exploring all of our natural options.  There has been some good success using natural/herbal methods for clearing blockage in fallopian tubes, so we will try that for DH before jumping to the next thing.  Even if we get the blockage opened, we have to deal with the anti-bodies which do not allow the sperm to move at all.  At least there is information available to for me to research and see what we can do naturally and much more inexpensively regarding both of these obstacles .

You are not alone.  This is a hard journey.  I wonder sometimes if this journey is not harder for us because our infertility is a known direct cause from our choices.  Although we did not know the heart changes that would take place and likely you were not any more informed than us of the difficulty associated with the change of mind.

Hang in there.  There are success stories out there, I just can't share ours with you yet.

post #13 of 25

hi ladies, I am glad I found this thread.............I am gutted, DH had a reversal 4 months ago and we just had the SA done with ZERO. ZILCH. ZIP. NADA. I am so sad, I can barely move. I am a childless stepmom (DH had vas before met me) and I feel like I'm never gonna have kids :( I even made a YouTube channel about the journey, omg I feel like an idiot thinkin I was preggo weeks ago when I wasn't help!!!! :( I am so sorry for you Beth!

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm back on now - I've been in mourning for months, so sorry I haven't been on for ages and replied to your kind words, I just couldn't face it. Somehow it just seemed easier to pretend this wasn't happening for a while. This is so very hard isn't it. Like Rose said, it shouldn't be this hard to have your husbands baby. I don't know if this is any use to any of you, but you can adopt embryos and have them implanted. I'm not sure if we'd go down this route - but it's an option.


My husband has been for blood tests and it's borderline if he is even producing sperm so he's off to the urologist next week for a consultation. If we go through IVF on the NHS then it's a years waiting list and I'm already 40. Onwards to 2012.


May 2012 bring us all our hearts desires. Much love and respect, Beth

post #15 of 25


i am 29 and my husband is 43. He had two daughters from a previous marriage and decieded to get a vasectomy. We now desperately want to have a little boy ( I have never had kids, married at 18 to my husband). On November 28, 2011 my husband had a normal vasovasectomy. Both sides had clear fluide but no sperm. It has now been 5 weeks and I have yet to find any Sperm in his semen samples ( microbiology major with microscope and equipment). I am totally depressed. I know the pain the rest of your are suffering!!!! I am not sure yet but it doesn't look good. Is it possible it's just to soon??????? The world is filled with women who don't want or care for their children yet those who would give anything to be a mommy have the hardest time trying to conceive. I just don't get it sometimes.

post #16 of 25

Bumblebeth I wish you the best of luck! If there's a will there's a way! Keep trying. 

post #17 of 25

Five weeks is REALLY early for sperm to return- there's still swelling around his vas defrens and in his scrotum that can keep them from travelling up into the seminal fluid.


Give it at least another six. Hang in there!



post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

Sarygirl - I know exactly how you feel I was late early in the year just after the reversal - got so exited, thankkfully only told a couple of close friends and no more, and then my period came. Then the negative zero spem count - not a single sperm at 3 months. My friend anounced she was pregnant 3 months later - she'd got pregnant at the time I though I might be and she gav3e birth to a baby boy early Dec. I still havne't been to see her or the baby - can't face it, it's just too painful. every period I have I anm gutted - totally gutted - the grief gets me every month, although it is becoming easier to cope with.


with time I am becoming stronger, but it doesn't make it easier.


My husband went to the Urologist last Monday and he is going through a full MOT this month - full scan of his 'bits', another semen sample, and blood tests. We're not even sure if he had sperm in the first place yet - we'll know more next month hopefully.


Keep your spirits up honey - get checked out after 3 months. Never give up hope until the specialists tell you there is absolutely none. You can chat to me any time if you want - it's not easy. I'm 41 this year - I can hear my biological clock so loudly and rudely ticking away. But - there is still hope.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks Lindsey 713 - but as Rose says, it is very very early at the moment. Have sex regularly - that's what we were advised. This gets rid of any debris that had built up during the vasectomy. You've also got the luxury of youth on your side so try not to give up or get down. If it doesn't happen naturally in a few months then you and your partner can go for further investigations. As he obvoiously had sperm in the first place there is definitely hope and options to you both. Be patient - and keep us all updated :-)

post #20 of 25

Guy's perspective here. Just heard that I have zero sperm count. I had the test six weeks out. Devasted. However, perhaps less reason for optimism than others here because reversal was complicated by the inability to re-connect both sides. Surgeon could not get to right side because of a mesh placed there for a hernia op that took place at same time as vascetomy years ago. I have only been re-married for a year, and although I have two children from a previous marriage, I ache with the desire to create a new family with my younger wife (she is in her mid-20s). My surgeon told me this morning that he could give me anti-inflammatories, but said that it there was not anything there after 6 months to begin thinking about IVF. Isn't that a tad early to be resigning ourself to no hope? This site has been very useful already as a support group, so I am hoping that someone can offer some constructive advice and suggestions.

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