CHELTENHAM, March 31, 2004 ( – At the British Fertility Society conference in Cheltenham, England, the fertility research community heard today that vasectomies may be more difficult to reverse than was previously suspected. Queen’s University Belfast researchers have found that men who have had vasectomy reversals have a sperm count that is as much as three times lower than men who have never undergone a vasectomy.

One of the Queen’s researchers, Dr Carmel McVicar, said: “We did not expect to see this reduction in sperm count or pregnancy due to previous vasectomy and ongoing studies are attempting to decipher the reasons for it.”

The study was a small one, with only 54 couples participating. Tissue was taken and biopsy results of post-vasectomy men showed that the sperm-generating capacity was impaired. Said Dr. McVicar, “Men who are considering vasectomy certainly need to think very carefully about the long-term consequences to their future fertility.”

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