When it comes to preventing pregnancy, a vasectomy is almost as effective as abstinence. After you’ve had a vasectomy, but you later decide that you want to father children, can you undo the procedure? The answer is probably yes.
The success rate of a vasectomy reversal depends on many factors, including how long it has been since you had your vasectomy, the skill level of the surgeon performing your reversal, and, surprisingly, your partner’s fertility. In general, the success rate for vasectomy reversals ranges from 50%-90%.
Here at the Male Fertility Doc: Eric K. Seaman, MD, practice, when you come in for a consultation about your vasectomy reversal, we can provide you with more specific information on your chances of success after a complete evaluation.
Both the vasectomy and vasectomy reversal are outpatient procedures, but the reversal may be a little bit more involved.
The goal of a vasectomy is to stop your sperm from reaching the egg for fertilization. To accomplish this, we seal off your vas deferens — which are the tubes that carry the sperm from your testes to your semen. It’s often intended as a permanent form of birth control, though it can be reversed.
Your body continues to make sperm, but instead of being sent out of your body through your ejaculate, it’s reabsorbed.
For the reversal, Dr. Seaman reconnects the vas deferens so the sperm can flow through again. That sounds simple enough, but the procedure requires an advanced microsurgical technique. Your vas deferens are muscular tubes that are about as wide as a pencil tip, and they need to be reconnected perfectly if they’re to function normally.
Factors that affect success
With a surgical expert like Dr. Seaman, you can expect the best possible results from your vasectomy reversal. That is one of a few factors that may affect your ability to conceive, including:
Experience of your surgeon
Because the vasectomy reversal is a bit more challenging than the vasectomy, it requires an advanced skill level. According to a 2016 review published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, the experience of the surgeon plays a significant role in the success of the reversal.
Dr. Seaman has performed thousands of vasectomies and reversals, so you know you’re in the best hands.
Length of time since your vasectomy
Your success rate also depends on how long it has been since you had your vasectomy. Waiting too long — more than 10 years — may lower your chances of a successful reversal, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Actually, your chances for success may go beyond your reversal. According to the review from the Asian Journal of Andrology, your partner’s fertility may also determine your success rate. If you’re having difficulty conceiving, your partner may want to consult with a fertility specialist, too.
Dr. Seaman reviews all of these factors and can estimate your success rate for a vasectomy reversal during your evaluation.
Testing the sperm
About 6-8 weeks after your vasectomy reversal, Dr. Seaman has you come back to the office so he can test your semen to see if your reversal was successful. It can take from a few weeks to several months, and sometimes a year or more, for the sperm to make its way to your semen. So, even if your reversal is successful, you need to be patient.
You may also consider freezing your sperm for in vitro fertilization if you have difficulty conceiving.
You’re not alone if you’ve changed your mind about your vasectomy. Chances of conception after a vasectomy reversal can be excellent when you choose an experienced surgeon like Dr. Seaman. Call Male Fertility Doc: Eric. K. Seaman, MD, today or book an appointment online.