What to Expect From a Vasectomy Reversal

Did you know that when it comes to preventing pregnancy, a vasectomy is almost as effective as abstinence? Yet, you might decide you want to father children after having a vasectomy. That’s where a vasectomy reversal can help.

The success rate for vasectomy reversals ranges from 30%-90% and depends on several factors. At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our team of doctors works hard to help men in Central Virginia who want to father children after vasectomy. Because every man is different, we provide you with more specific information on your chances of a successful vasectomy reversal after a complete evaluation. 

We’ve curated this guide to help you understand what to expect from a vasectomy reversal. Read on to learn more.

What’s involved in a vasectomy reversal?

Both vasectomy and vasectomy reversal are outpatient procedures. The goal of a vasectomy is to stop fertilization by preventing your sperm from reaching the egg. To achieve this, during a vasectomy your doctor seals off your vas deferens, the tubes that carry the sperm from your testes to your semen. While vasectomies are intended to be a permanent form of birth control, it is possible to reverse the procedure, though success rates vary.  

Vasectomy reversals take advantage of the fact that after vasectomy, your body continues to make sperm. By reconnecting the vas deferens so sperm can flow through, it’s possible to reverse the effects of the initial surgery. 

While the reversal procedure may sound simple, the surgery actually requires an advanced microsurgical technique. The vas deferens are muscular tubes only about as wide as a pencil tip. To function normally, they need to be reconnected with precision. In addition, there are other factors that can affect the outcome of the surgery.

What factors affect the success of a vasectomy reversal?

There’s a range of success when it comes to vasectomy reversal because multiple factors are at play. It’s important to understand the different factors that can impact the success of a vasectomy reversal. Here’s a look at the top ones:

1. Experience of your doctor

Vasectomy reversals involve more than the initial vasectomy. As such, the advanced skills it requires can affect the outcome. Research shows the experience of the surgeon plays a significant role in the success of the reversal. 

At Urological Associates, we’ve been serving Central Virginia for more than 50 years. Our doctors have performed thousands of vasectomies and reversals, so you know you’re in the best hands. 

2. Time since your vasectomy

The success rate of a vasectomy reversal depends on how long it has been since the original vasectomy was performed. Generally speaking, the sooner after the vasectomy you have the reversal, the higher the chances of the reversal’s success. 

The more time that’s passed since the vasectomy, especially if it has been more than 10 years, the lower the chances of a successful reversal. However, time alone doesn’t determine the reversal’s success. Your doctor evaluates your overall health and can perform a reversal even if your vasectomy was completed many years ago.  

3. Your fertility history and your partner’s fertility

Your vasectomy reversal is only one piece of the complete fertility picture. If you had trouble conceiving before your vasectomy, you may have less success with a reversal. Your partner’s fertility also plays a role in successful conception. If you’re having difficulty conceiving after a vasectomy reversal, your partner may want to consult with a fertility specialist, too. 

At Urological Associates, our providers review your overall health along with these factors to help you estimate your success rate for a vasectomy reversal and set realistic expectations. We take the time to answer your questions and help you understand each part of the procedure before we begin.

How will I know if the procedure is successful?

For many men, sperm appears in the semen within a few weeks after the reversal. As such, after giving your body time to heal, you’ll return to the office in about six weeks. Your provider will examine your semen sample to determine if your reversal was a success. 

For some men, however, it can take up to a year for sperm to appear. Your doctor will discuss your results with you to determine a plan if your semen does not contain sperm. If the initial surgery was not a success, it’s possible to consider a second surgery to help you achieve your goal.

Ready to learn more about vasectomy reversal?

If you’ve changed your mind about your vasectomy, you’re not alone. You can improve your chances of conception after vasectomy by choosing an experienced urologist, like one of the team members at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

To learn more about what you can expect from a vasectomy reversal, contact Urological Associates or call 434-295-0184 to schedule an appointment.

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