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Vasectomy Reversal: Is It Possible to Reverse the Procedure?

Vasectomy Reversal: Is It Possible to Reverse the Procedure?

Initially, you may have decided, together with your partner, to put a limit on the number of kids you want to have. So, you got a vasectomy. But, later on, you both realized you wanted to add one or two more to complete your growing family. What do you do about it? Read on to know more about vasectomy reversal.

Vasectomy Reversal, Explained

If you know vasectomy as a form of contraception in men, then vasectomy reversal, as the name suggests, refers to undoing that process.

It is a surgical procedure that can be performed even after long years of vasectomy. During the procedure, the surgeon reconnects each tube (vas deferens) through microsurgery techniques to transport sperm from a testicle into the semen.

Pregnancy rates after surgery may range from about 30% to more than 90%, depending on the type of procedure.

Several factors may influence whether or not a vasectomy reversal is successful in leading to pregnancy. These include the following:

  • Time since the vasectomy took place
  • Age of your partner
  • Fertility issues prior to your vasectomy

Types of Vasectomy Reversal

There are two types of reversal procedures that you may take into consideration:

  • Vaso-vasostomy. This type follows the reconnection of the two ends of the vas deferens through the stitching.
  • Epididymovasostomy. This other type is normally the option when the vasectomy was performed 10 or more years ago since a secondary blockage is more common in such cases. The surgeon directly re-attaches the vas deferens to the epididymis.

These procedures aid in the restoration of sperm flow, allowing sperm to be ejaculated from the urethra. Both types are usually executed as outpatient procedures and you can go home the same day.

Some men may also opt to have vasectomy reversal in order to treat chronic testicular pain post-vasectomy.

Possible Side Effects and Risks

Like any other surgical procedure, there are also some possible risks and side effects to vasectomy reversal.

Side effects are usually minor and consist of swelling, pain, or bruising. However, there is still a possibility that it could lead to further complications despite its rarity. Some of which may include bleeding within the scrotum, infection at the surgery site, and even chronic pain.

Recovery and Follow-up

The procedure to reverse a vasectomy normally takes around two to three hours. If you had an epididymovasostomy, your surgery could last four hours. Post-operation monitoring and recovery come after it.

Your surgeon would provide specific recovery instructions according to your specific procedure and case. The pain is bearable and comparable to the original vasectomy procedure. However, you will still need to rest for a few more days.

You may apply an ice pack to the scrotum to reduce swelling and pain. Additionally, you may also take pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if necessary.

Patients typically return to their office jobs in three days and physically strenuous jobs in four weeks. For the next two weeks, you should avoid ejaculation and other strenuous activities.

After two weeks, your doctor will ask for a follow-up to further assess your healing and recovery. The first sperm analysis will be performed at 6 weeks. Depending on the type of repair and the time since the vasectomy, sperm can take anywhere from a month to a year to resume ejaculation.

Key Takeaways

The success rate for vasectomy reversal varies depending on several factors. The most important of them all is the time interval between the previous vasectomy and the vasectomy reversal. The less time that passes between both surgeries, the better the chances of regaining fertility.

It is never too late to reconsider your choices. Consult your doctor to know if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

Learn more about Sexual Wellness here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Vasectomy reversal, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vasectomy-reversal/t. Accessed March 15, 2022

Vasectomy Reversal, https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-treatments/v/vasectomy-reversal.html Accessed March 15, 2022

Vasectomy Reversal, https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/urology/male-reproductive-sexual-health/pages/vasectomy-reversal.aspx Accessed March 15, 2022

Vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/report/vasectomy-and-vasectomy-reversal Accessed March 15, 2022

Vasectomy reversals: Frequently asked questions, https://uihc.org/health-topics/vasectomy-reversals-frequently-asked-questions Accessed March 15, 2022

Vasectomy Reversal: 5 Facts Men Need to Know, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/vasectomy-reversal-5-facts-men-need-to-know-2/ Accessed March 15, 2022

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated 3 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD