Can a Vasectomy Be Reversed?

As the saying goes, the only thing you can count on is that things change. Whether you thought you were finished having children or you were sure you didn’t want to have children when you got your vasectomy, you likely didn’t have any doubt about your decision. But maybe now you do. 

At Mike Hsieh, MD, in La Jolla, California, we understand that life changes and that sometimes a vasectomy reversal is an important step for you. You may wonder, though, if the procedure carries risks or how effective it could be. In this post, we answer your questions.

How does vasectomy reversal work? 

Around 42 million to 60 million men worldwide choose a vasectomy for birth control. It’s an extremely effective method of preventing pregnancy, only failing one to two times for every 1,000 couples. 

No matter how sure you were that you didn’t want more or any children at the time you underwent your vasectomy procedure, it’s possible that your circumstances have changed. Perhaps now you regret your vasectomy and would like to have it reversed to restore your fertility. 

When you had a vasectomy, your doctor cut or blocked the tubes that carry your sperm from each of your testicles to your urethra — your vas deferens. In order to reverse your vasectomy, the tubes need to be unblocked or reconnected, allowing your sperm to mix with your semen and giving you the ability to impregnate your partner. 

Are vasectomy reversals effective? 

It’s unusual for a vasectomy reversal to be unsuccessful, although it can sometimes take a few months to a year for you to have enough sperm to cause pregnancy. Generally, pregnancy rates after a vasectomy reversal range from 30% to more than 90%.

The time between your vasectomy and your procedure to reverse it makes a difference. The longer it is after your vasectomy that you opt to have it reversed, the lower chance it has of being successful. Most of the time, vasectomy reversals done within 10 years of the original procedure are successful. After 15 years, the rate of success begins to decline. 

Other factors that can contribute to a successful pregnancy after vasectomy reversal include the age of each partner and whether either partner has fertility problems or had such problems in the past. In some cases, a vasectomy causes scarring that can block your sperm from flowing properly. 

Working with a skilled urologist can improve your success rate. Dr. Hsieh and his staff are experts and can give you a good chance at a successful vasectomy reversal. If you have specific questions or you’d like to learn more, call the office to schedule an appointment today.

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