Each year in the United States, about half a million men get a vasectomy, effectively ending their fertility. Thanks to microscopic surgery, this end isn’t written in stone, as we can reverse your vasectomy, allowing you to fulfill your new family-building dream.
If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the team here at Arizona Urology understands that one of your first questions is: When will my fertility be restored? While there’s no definitive answer to this, there are some guidelines, which we review here.
Allowing sperm back in
When we perform a vasectomy, we prevent sperm from entering your ejaculate by creating barriers in your vas deferens. Your vas deferens are tubes that deliver sperm from your testes to your prostate, where they mix with seminal fluid to become semen.
Through clipping, tying off, or cutting, we disrupt the passage of sperm in your vas deferens permanently — unless you opt for a vasectomy reversal.
In this procedure, we use microscopic surgery and robot-assisted technology to re-establish the passageways for your sperm in one of two ways:
- Vasovasostomy — we reconnect the ends of your vas deferens
- Vasoepididymostomy — we connect your vas deferens directly to your epididymis, where you store sperm outside your testes
We decide which approach is best when we access your vas deferens and assess how best to facilitate the movement of sperm through these various passageways. In some cases, we may perform different procedures on each side — a vasovasostomy on one side and a vasoepididymostomy on the other.
Becoming fertile again
No matter which approach we use to reestablish the flow of sperm, a vasectomy reversal is successful in about 85 out of 100 men, and pregnancy occurs in about 55 out of 100 partners.
For the first 2-3 weeks after your vasectomy reversal, you should steer clear of sexual activity to allow the area to heal. Once you get the green light, it can take 3-15 months before you become fertile again. During this time, we’ll test your sperm counts every few months (or until you and your partner conceive) to ensure they’re adequate.
It’s important to note that even if we can technically restore your fertility, there’s no guarantee that you and your partner will conceive. Problems with fertility can come from your partner’s side of the equation, or they might stem from problems with your sperm — they may be getting through just fine, but they’re shaped irregularly or don’t move quickly enough.
In rare cases — only about 5 out of 100 men — scar tissue can reform where we’ve reconnected the tubes, creating blockages that prevent sperm from getting through again.
As you can see, there are many variables when it comes to a vasectomy reversal, but the good news is that the procedure is successful much of the time, and plenty of men go on to build families.
If you have more questions about reversing your vasectomy or you'd like to schedule a consultation to see whether a vasectomy reversal will work for you, please contact one of our locations in Goodyear, Gilbert, or Glendale, Arizona, to set up an appointment.