A vasectomy is a form of contraception in which a urologist snips the male’s vas deferens, the pathway sperm use to travel from the testes out through the penis during ejaculation. As time passes, it is not uncommon for some men who have undergone a vasectomy to reverse what is traditionally considered a permanent procedure. If you have had a vasectomy, or are considering one as form of birth control, here is what you need to know if you might, at any time in the future, entertain the thought of reversing that procedure.
At one point in your life you might have thought that a vasectomy was the most practical option for birth control. Perhaps children never were or are no longer in your future, or you preferred not to rely on your partner for contraception. Time and circumstance can change many things, leading some men to seek out the reversal procedure. For others, the vasectomy may have led to testicular pain that can be alleviated by a reversal. Whatever your reason, vasectomies can be reversed.
During a vasectomy the vas deferens, the pathways through which the sperm travel, are snipped, thereby effectively blocking the sperm inside the testes. The re-attachment of the vas deferens is performed typically two different ways – a vasovasostomy, which consists of the reconnecting of the snipped vas deferens tubes, vas-to-vas; or a vasoepididymostomy, a more complicated surgical technique in which the urologist attaches the vas deferens directly to the small organ at the rear of the testicle where sperm are stored.
The decision for which method your urologist will use depends on what he finds once surgery is underway. Sometimes a combination of both methods is used.
For those undergoing a vasectomy reversal, the success rates can vary between 40% to 90%; the reversal is considered successful when sperm is present in the ejaculated semen. The range of success depends on a number of factors, to include your age, type of method and amount of time that has lapsed since the original procedure, and the skill of the surgeon. Your overall health will factor into whether or not your sperm are capable and healthy enough to conceive. Remember, while women are unlikely to remain fertile as they age, men can still become fathers well into their 70s and 80s. That said, age may play a factor into your decision as to whether or not being a parent at such a late age is a fair option, and whether the female partner will be able to conceive at a later age at all.
Your Urology Expert in Phoenix
Vasectomy reversals happen more frequently than one might think. If you are in the Phoenix area and have questions about vasectomies, reversing them, or any other urological issue, contact Dr. Desiderio Avila at Ironwood Urology. Having performed countless successful procedures, Dr. Avila and his skilled staff can offer you the expertise and guidance you need to make the tough decisions regarding your reproductive health. You can request an appointment online, or call them at (480) 961-2323 today.