Effects of vasectomy on spermatogenesis and fertility outcomes after assisted conception

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Each year 40,000 men have a vasectomy in the UK whilst another 2400 request a reversal to begin a second family. Sperm can now be obtained by testicular biopsy and subsequently used in assisted conception with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The study aims were to compare sperm yields of men post-vasectomy or with obstructive azoospermia (OA) of unknown aetiology with fertile men and to assess any alteration in the clinical pregnancy rates after ICSI. METHODS: Testicular tissue was obtained by Trucut needle from men who had undergone a vasectomy >5yrs previously, had OA from other causes and from fertile men during vasectomy. Seminiferous tubules were milked to measure sperm yields. Numbers of Sertoli cells, spermatids and thickness of the seminiferous tubule walls were assessed using quantitative computerized analysis. RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS: Sperm yields/g testis were significantly decreased in men post-vasectomy and in men with OA, relative to fertile men. Significant reductions were also observed in early (40%) and mature (29%) spermatid numbers and an increase of 31% was seen in the seminiferous tubule wall (basal membrane and collagen thickness) of vasectomised men compared to fertile men. Clinical pregnancy rates in couples who had had a vasectomy were also significantly reduced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2797-2800
Number of pages4
JournalHuman reproduction
Volume20 (10)
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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