Cleveland Clinic's Center for Male Fertility specializes in assisting men with fertility concerns. Learn more from our experts.
Learn more about Cleveland Clinic’s nationally top-ranked urology program.
Infertility is a common problem and affects one in every six couples who are trying to conceive. In at least half of all cases of infertility, a male factor is a major or contributing cause. Current reproductive guidelines allow for the evaluation of a couple at any time that they perceive an issue achieving a pregnancy.
The specialists in the Cleveland Clinic Center for Male Fertility understand your concerns from an emotional perspective as well as the medical one. We offer a unique, comprehensive, team approach to diagnosing and treating male infertility to help you achieve your personal goals and dreams for the future. We bring a personal touch to each couple, and make sure they understand the tests and options at each step of the process. We work closely and regularly with a wide array of female reproductive specialists (Reproductive Endocrinologist) within Cleveland Clinic and from other hospitals.
We additionally bring to the point of care all the resources of Cleveland Clinic, which includes a world class andrology center with cryopreservation capability, and the use of cutting edge technology for reproduction and in-vitro fertilization. When needed, the physicians at The Center for Male Fertility regularly perform surgeries including testicular biopsy, advanced sperm harvest techniques, varicocelectomy, and complicated microsurgical vas deferens reconstructions.
About 50 million men — or roughly 5 percent of all married men of reproductive age — have had a vasectomy. If you and your partner have completed your family or do not want to have children, this simple outpatient procedure may be right for you.
A vasectomy is a procedure to cut and block the tubes, called the vas deferens, through which sperm pass on the way to mix with a man’s semen. A vasectomy makes a man permanently sterile (unable to father a child). It is a simple, safe, quick and highly effective procedure, done with local anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center or doctor’s office.
Experts in Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute will help counsel you on if a vasectomy is indeed your best birth control option and, if so, offer the most advanced techniques available.
Vasectomy is a one-time procedure that eventually (although not immediately) eliminates the need for contraception. Other than abstinence, no birth control method is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. In rare cases, sperm manage to cross the gap between the two blocked ends of the vas deferens, making impregnation possible. This condition is called recanalization, and if it happens, it’s usually within the first few months after a vasectomy. In that event, a repeat vasectomy is needed, but that only happens about once in every 1,000 cases — a failure rate far less than any other form of birth control.
You should think of vasectomy as a permanent end to your ability to father a child. Reversing a vasectomy, though possible, is difficult, expensive and not always successful. You should weigh the benefits and risks of vasectomy against other forms of birth control, and discuss them with your urologist.
A vasectomy reversal, also called a vasovasostomy, is an operation to undo a vasectomy and restore a man’s ability to father a child. About 5 to 10 percent of the 500,000 men who have vasectomies each year change their minds later in life — either they want more children with their existing partner, or are in a new relationship.
The procedure involves opening and reconnecting the previously cut and sealed halves of the vas deferens, the twin tubes through which sperm pass on their way to mix with semen in preparation for ejaculation. Sometimes, because of sperm blockage elsewhere, the surgeon may have to do another kind of vasectomy reversal procedure, called a vasoepididymostomy, either alone or in combination with a vasovasostomy.
After a successful vasovasostomy, sperm usually appear in the semen after a month. Following a vasoepididymostomy, sperm usually reappear after three to 15 months. Vasectomy reversal leads to pregnancy in more than 55 percent of couples within two years. While some pregnancies occur within a few months of the surgery, the average is about one year. Your doctor will examine your semen for the presence of sperm to determine if the operation was successful. Unless your partner becomes pregnant, the sperm count is the only way to tell if your vasectomy reversal worked. Even if the surgery restores sperm to your semen, it’s possible your partner still may not become pregnant, since there are multiple factors — involving both men and women — that can affect fertility.
What Do We Treat?
Percutaneous No-Scalpel Vasectomy Brochure
Learn more about Cleveland Clinic's No-Scalpel Vasectomy procedure.
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Treatments and Procedures
- Semen Analysis
- Vasectomy Reversal
- Microsurgical Sperm Extraction
- Varicocele Ligation
- Microsurgical spermatic cord denervation
- Spermatic cord botox injection for testicular pain with cremasteric hyperreflexia
- Percutaneous Epididymal Aspiration
- Testosterone Replacement including Subcutaneous Pellet Implantation
- Sperm Banking
- Transurethral resection of Ejaculatory Ducts
For more information, view treatment guides from the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute.
Our new, state-of-the-art Andrology Center offers evaluation, preservation and other services for male fertility. The facility boasts the largest lab of its kind in the Midwest and one of the largest in the country, serving more than 2,400 patients each year.
The center’s full spectrum of fertility tests and services includes semen analysis, sperm processing for intrauterine insemination and immunologic testing. Advanced semen-testing options offered include measurement of reactive oxygen species, antioxidant levels and sperm DNA damage. We also offer cryopreservation of male gametes (prior to cancer treatment), testicular tissue and epididymal aspirates.
To learn more and apply, visit our educational opportunities page.
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Urology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-5600
Nephrology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-6771
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Do you have a question about our services? Ask a nurse in the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute.