published Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Ask a doctor

Q: My husband has had a vasectomy, but we want more children. What can we do?

A: The first option for couples in these circumstances is reconnecting the ejaculatory ducts (vasectomy reversal) so that they can try to conceive on their own. The second option is extracting sperm while the man is sedated, then fertilizing the woman's eggs with in vitro fertilization (IVF). The third option is using a sperm donor. There are pros and cons to each option. Vasectomy reversal allows the couple to conceive as many times as they desire; however, the procedure is not always successful, and IVF is then the only option. IVF is the fastest way to conceive and a better option when the woman is over age 35. Donor sperm insemination is the least invasive but precludes the ability to have a genetically related child. A physician consultation is the best way to get a recommendation on your options.

-- Dr. Jessica Scotchie, Tennessee Reproductive Medicine; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at

See this space each week for answers.

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