Vasectomies are intended to be a permanent solution, but if you've had a change of heart about having children after undergoing one, the good news is that you have options. A vasectomy reversal is a viable and increasingly common procedure that can restore your fertility. In fact, experts estimate that as many as 6% of men who have a vasectomy later request a reversal.
Our board-certified urologists at Bellingham Urology Group know there are many reasons why you might change your minds about having kids 一 from divorce and remarriage to a change in financial status to other personal motivations 一 and it’s why we offer vasectomy reversal here in our offices in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, Washington.
A vasectomy reversal involves reconnecting the tubes (called the vas deferens) that were cut 一 or blocked in the case of a no-scalpel vasectomy 一 during the initial vasectomy procedure. The surgery, known as a vasovasostomy, aims to restore the flow of sperm and allows for the possibility of natural conception. This happens by surgically removing the blocked segment of your vas deferens through a small incision. The incision is usually no bigger than the incision needed for the original vasectomy.
With the blocked segment of vas deferens removed, the two ends of this tube are then resected, or stitched back together, with dissolvable stitches. A bandage covers your incision site, and you’re free to head home and spend the rest of the day relaxing and recovering.
It’s normal to feel a little sore after a reversal. Wear an athletic cup for protection, and use cold compresses to reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
In general, vasectomy reversal success rates can be as high as 90-95%. However, the following factors can play a big role in whether you and your partner conceive:
The success rate of a vasectomy reversal depends on how recent your vasectomy was. In general, the more recent the vasectomy, the better the chances of conceiving.
Your partner's fertility also plays a role in whether you can grow your family or not. If your partner has any fertility issues, you should consider addressing them concurrently for the best chance of conception. Fibroids, hormonal imbalances, and irregular menstrual cycles can contribute to female infertility.
While a successful reversal can restore the flow of sperm, achieving pregnancy depends on the overall health and quality of your sperm. Smoking, drinking, obesity, and conditions like varicocele — an enlargement of the veins in the testicle — can impact the quality and quantity of sperm.
A semen analysis can assess the motility (how well the sperm move) and count of sperm. These are good indications of your ability to conceive.
Deciding to have a vasectomy isn’t a decision to take lightly, and neither is a reversal. If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal and would like to find out if it’s right for you, schedule your consultation with our team. Curran Emeruwa, MD; John Pettit, MD; Mackenzie Epler, PA-C; and Eleni Zobolas, ARNP know that this is a deeply personal and sensitive topic, and we’re here to answer your questions so you can make the right choice for you and your family.
To book your vasectomy reversal consultation, call the location of your choice or click here to schedule your next appointment by phone or message.