Posted on: April 19, 2017
Life circumstances can change. So, speak with your fertility specialist when a permanent birth control measure, such as vasectomy, requires reversal.
What is a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a permanent birth control procedure that severs the vas deferens. The vas deferens is a tube that carries sperm produced in the testicle to the semen. Following a vasectomy, sperm from the testicle is unable to mix with the semen that is ejaculated from the penis.
How Does a Vasectomy Reversal Work?
If you decide you want to have more children following a vasectomy, your male fertility specialist may be able to perform a vasectomy reversal. During the vasectomy reversal, your reproductive urologist will reconnect the vas deferens. When successful, you will be able to get your partner pregnant. Generally, it is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia.
Factors Affecting Vasectomy Reversal Success Rate
The success rate for vasectomy reversal ranges from 40-90% and is based on several factors:
- Sperm presence in the vas deferens prior to the vasectomy reversal is associated with a high success rate. If no sperm is present, there is likely a blockage closer to the testicle. In this case, a different procedure will need to be performed to by-pass the blockage.
- Age of vasectomy can impact the success of a vasectomy reversal. While the procedure can be successfully performed at any point- it is usually most effective when the vasectomy occurred less than ten years prior. Additional blockages can occur in older vasectomies- preventing sperm from combining with semen.
Your reproductive urologist can provide more information regarding your personal success rate factors.
What to Expect After Vasectomy Reversal
You will likely be able to return to light activities two to three days after the vasectomy reversal. After four weeks, your fertility specialist will generally release you for normal activities. You may experience swelling and some discomfort following the procedure.
In successful vasectomy reversals, sperm will be present in semen after about three to six months, although it can take up to a year. Sperm count and motility may be lower than it was before your vasectomy. This can make it more challenging to get your partner pregnant. If you have questions regarding vasectomy reversal, talk to your reproductive endocrinologist.