"The back-up vasectomy reversal." Simultaneous sperm retrieval and vasectomy reversal in the couple with advanced maternal age: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

Cheng, PJ, Kim, J, Craig, JR, Alukal, J, Pastuszak, AW, Walsh, TJ, Hotaling, JM
Urology. Apr. 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2021.03.021


Objective: To determine the cost-effectiveness of different fertility options in men who have undergone vasectomy in couples with a female of advanced maternal age (AMA). The options include vasectomy reversal (VR), sperm retrieval (SR) with in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the combination of VR and SR with IVF, which is a treatment pathway that has been understudied. Materials and methods: Using TreeAge software, a model-based cost-utility analysis was performed estimating the cost per quality-adjusted life years (QALY) in couples with infertility due to vasectomy and advanced female age over a period of one year. The model stratified for female age (35-37, 38-40, >40) and evaluated four strategies: VR followed by natural conception (NC), SR with IVF, VR and SR followed by failed NC and then IVF, and VR and SR followed by failed IVF and then NC. QALY estimates and outcome probabilities were obtained from the literature and average patient charges were calculated from high-volume centers. Results: The most cost-effective fertility strategy was to undergo VR and try for NC (cost-per-QALY: $7,150 (35-37 y), $7,203 (38-40 y), and $7,367 (>40 y)). The second most cost-effective strategy was the "back-up vasectomy reversal": undergo VR and SR, attempt IVF and switch to NC if IVF fails. Conclusion: In couples with a history of vasectomy and female of AMA, it is most cost-effective to undergo a VR. If the couple opts for SR for IVF, it is more cost-effective to undergo a concomitant VR than SR alone.