Vasectomy Reversals: When is it Possible?

Vasectomy reversals are becoming increasingly common as men begin to realize that they didn’t want to stop at one, two, or even three children. A vasectomy is often chosen by a couple because it is much safer for a man than a hysterectomy is for a woman, requires less hospital time, and is all-around less invasive. It might also be chosen because a vasectomy reversal is possible, though it isn’t always recommended.

The most effective vasectomy reversals are performed on healthy men under the age of forty, whose vasectomy is less than ten years old. It can also depend on how significantly the vas deferens was damaged during the initial surgery. A doctor can perform a variety of examinations and tests in order to predict a success rate for the vasectomy reversal. Although approximately 75% of vasectomies can be reversed, only 50% of vasectomy reversals will result in achieving pregnancy.

Sooner rather than later is preferable because sperm production continues in the body, and sperm debris will accumulate in the system following a successful vasectomy, producing a build-up that will limit the flow of semen after the reversal.

Microscopic vasectomy reversals are the most successful because they involve less trauma to the genital area, and can be performed with a higher level of precision. It is important to have the reversal performed by a doctor who is both deft and experienced at vasectomy reversals for the best results.

A vasectomy reversal can be performed on an outpatient basis, although the patient will need to recover for several days at home. The procedure takes between one and two hours under a light general anesthetic, and typically produces little or no painful aftereffects. Men who undergo vasectomy reversals should not engage in any form of sexual activity for at least three weeks following the surgery, and should have a sperm count taken approximately three months after that. This is to ensure that the accumulated sperm cells have passed and are no longer blocking the flow of semen.

A vasectomy reversal can still leave a man with a low sperm count or low sperm mobility. Although these factors can be tested by your primary care physician, the true test will be whether or not a couple is able to achieve pregnancy following the reversal. Many times, it can take several years before pregnancy can occur, and it may never happen at all. Your physician will let you know the projected success before the operation so you can decide whether or not you want to continue with the reversal.

Vasectomy reversal costs are typically between $6,000 and $18,000, with the average U.S. reversal costing $11,000. Monetary concerns, success rates and desire to have a child should all be important factors in the decision process.

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