A vasectomy is a form of male birth control that prevents sperm from leaving your body and causing pregnancy. Vasectomies are nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and are meant to be permanent procedures. However, many men considering this procedure are curious whether it can be reversed later on if they should change their minds about having children.

Here’s a closer look at how vasectomies work and whether it’s possible to have this procedure reversed.

How Do Vasectomies Work?

Sperm leaves your testicles through a coiled tube called the vas deferens. Then, it mixes with other fluids to make semen. During ejaculation, sperm in the semen enters the woman’s vagina, which goes through the cervix and meets up with an egg traveling through the woman’s fallopian tube.

A vasectomy works by blocking or cutting off the vas deferens tubes. This prevents sperm from mixing into your semen. Instead, your sperm will stay inside your testicles, eventually absorbed by your body. Your body will continue to make sperm, but it will not enter your semen.


Man Speaking with Nurse Before Vasectomy Reversal


Are All Vasectomies Reversible?

Yes – nearly all vasectomies can be safely reversed. However, reversing a vasectomy doesn’t always guarantee you will be able to conceive a child after the procedure. According to several studies cited in a 2016 issue of the Asian Journal of Andrology, the pregnancy rate following vasectomy reversal ranges between 31% and 92%. Because of this, getting a vasectomy shouldn’t come with the expectation you will be able to conceive after reversal, and should be considered a permanent procedure instead of a temporary solution.

During a vasectomy reversal, the vas deferens tubes are unblocked, or reconnected, to allow sperm to flow through the tubes again and mix into semen. The recovery period usually lasts between six and eight weeks, though you may need to refrain from ejaculating for two to three weeks following the procedure. Vasectomy reversal is rarely associated with complications, though potential risks include chronic pain, infection, and bleeding in the scrotum.

In some instances, another blockage can form in the vas deferens after a vasectomy reversal to prevent your sperm from mixing with semen. If this happens, you can have a second vasectomy reversal surgery to unblock the tubes. Your doctor can discuss the pros and cons of a second vasectomy reversal if this procedure is deemed necessary.

What Percentage of Vasectomies are Reversible?

According to Stanford Medicine, the efficacy of a vasectomy reversal ranges between 90 to 95%. It adds that vasovasostomy procedures generally have a higher success rate (90 to 95%) than that of vasoepididymostomy procedures (65 to 70%).

During a vasovasostomy, the severed ends of each vas deferens are sewn back together. During a vasoepididymostomy, the vas deferens are attached directly to the epididymis, the tiny organ at the back of each of the testicles that stores sperm.

A urologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital named Amin Herati, M.D says that vasectomy reversals performed more than ten years after the initial procedure are less likely to be successful than reversal procedures performed earlier. However, Stanford Medicine says its experts have performed successful vasectomy reversals that were done more than 30 years after the initial procedure.


Couple Speaking with Doctor About Vasectomy Reversal


What are Reasons to Reverse a Vasectomy?

Men who choose to reverse a vasectomy may do so for several reasons. You may want a vasectomy reversal because you changed your mind about having children. Or, perhaps you feel as though your life is more stable than before, and you have more resources that make you feel comfortable about having children.

Some men get remarried or have new partners with whom they want to have children, while others may want to have another baby after experiencing the loss of a child. In rare instances where the initial vasectomy causes testicular pain, the man may choose to reverse his procedure to end discomfort.

Choosing to reverse a vasectomy is a highly personal decision. Fortunately, vasectomy reversal can be successful, especially if you work with doctors who specialize in fertility and urology.


If you are experiencing difficulty with conceiving following a vasectomy reversal, we will be more than happy to work with you to identify the root cause and improve your chances of having a child. Our services include sperm analysis and other male fertility testing. Additionally, if you are considering getting a vasectomy in the future, sperm freezing is available to help preserve sperm for future fertility treatments. Contact Red Rock Fertility to schedule an appointment and consult with one of our fertility specialists today.

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