Choosing to reverse a vasectomy in order to start or add to a family is a very personal, often emotionally difficult, decision that marks the first step towards a potential pregnancy. Vasectomy reversals can be effective, even after a long period of time. Recent advances in microsurgery have dramatically improved the success rate for vasectomy reversals, but you should understand going in that there are no guarantees that you will be able to father a child although a highly skilled surgeon can often make the difference between success and failure.
Even when the sections of the vas deferens (the tiny tubes that carry the sperm) have been cauterized, a skilled surgeon can often successfully reconnect them, provided that there is sperm present. If there is no sperm, it may indicate a blockage that will need to be corrected. It is possible to perform a procedure to remove a blockage, however it should be noted that the success rate is much lower in such cases.
Many Factors Should Be Considered
That rate however, will depend on my factors, not the least of which is how much time has passed since you underwent the original vasectomy. Although some cases have led to a successful pregnancy after as many as 25 years, the odds gradually decrease to roughly 40% after 7 years. If the vasectomy was performed within the past 7 years, the odds are much more favorable; approximately 70% of these couples will be able to successfully become pregnant.
Besides the surgical timeline, the female’s fertility and age should also be taken into account. A younger healthy female is more likely to be able to become pregnant than an older female or a woman who has herself undergone a procedure such as a tubal ligation.
You should also understand that trying to conceive a child does take some time, almost certainly longer than one try or in one month. It can also create a lot of stress and tension for both partners. Many couples seek professional counseling as well as medical support to help them manage their expectations and emotions during this critical time. It takes about six to eight weeks before your doctor can tell if your vasectomy reversal was a success, so a little patience will be your ally. This allows your body to produce the required sperm, which your doctor can then examine under a microscope to verify the results.
If you are interested in learning more about vasectomy reversal, or any other male health issue, consider making an appointment with Desiderio Avila, Jr., MD, a specialist in men’s health. For a personalized consultation, please contact Dr. Avila and Ironwood Urology at (480) 961-2323 or request an appointment online today.