Men who are have fertility concerns, such as difficulty conceiving, or a desire to prevent pregnancy permanently, should discuss options with their urologist. Fertility procedures are available to help men who are unable to ejaculate healthy sperm.
Sperm retrieval procedures, which include various approaches to sperm aspiration and surgical sperm extraction, are performed to harvest healthy sperm from the testes. Procedures are carefully timed to coincide with the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle or the harvesting of the female partner’s eggs.
Men who cannot ejaculate due to spinal cord injuries or other problems may benefit from two treatments: penile vibratory stimulation or electroejaculation. These non-invasive fertility techniques use vibrations or electro-stimulation to prompt ejaculation so healthy sperm can be collected.
If the goal is to avoid pregnancy instead, an approach called vasectomy can usually be performed in the doctor’s office with a local anesthetic. This is a highly effective form of birth control once the doctor has confirmed its success. Vasectomy reversals are available for men who change their minds and want to try to restore fertility—or for the very small percentage of men for whom vasectomy causes ongoing pain.