The Latest on Vasectomy Reversal Success Rates

The Latest on Vasectomy Reversal Success Rates The Latest on Vasectomy Reversal Success Rates

Does your partner want a vasectomy reversal so you can have children?  One in 20 married men have a vasectomy at some point in their lives. For those who want to reverse the procedure and have children, vasectomy reversal success rates are high.

How high are vasectomy reversal success rates?
Vasectomy reversal success rates are based on the percentage of men who conceive after a vasectomy, which ranges from 20 to 75 percent. These success rates depend on the type of procedure for the vasectomy reversal, whether a vasovasostomy (VV) or a vasoepididymostomy (VE).

Vasectomy reversal success rates range from 50 to 70 percent of men who have a child after a vasovasostomy (VV). With a vasoepididymostomy (VE), men have lower success rates of 20 to 40 percent having a child. Even though vasectomy reversal success rates are lower with the VE, some men must have the VE during their vasectomy reversal.

Vasectomy reversal success rates
At the beginning of a vasectomy reversal, the doctor will take a sample of fluid from your partner’s vas deferens. The doctor will check for the presence of sperm and also examine its consistency. If the doctor does not see any sperm in the fluid, a vasoepididymostomy (VE) will be necessary because of a blocked epididymis. 

Vasectomy reversal success rates are highest when the sample fluid is clear. With cloudy, thick or creamy fluid, the success rates decrease.

After the vasectomy reversal
After a vasectomy reversal, the doctor will do a semen analysis at different appointments over several months. Each time, the doctor will check to see if the sperm are mobile and have returned to normal levels.

If your partner’s sperm levels appear to be normal, but you have not gotten pregnant within 1 to 2 years, the doctor may do further testing, including checking for antisperm antibodies. Some doctors believe that these antibodies might lower vasectomy reversal success rates.  

If the sperm analysis is abnormal six months after a VV and 18 months after a VE, the doctor can discuss other options with you and your partner such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or a repeat of the vasectomy reversal.

How to measure success
If you and your partner get pregnant within months after a VV or VE, then your vasectomy reversal success rate is superb!  

Most couples take about a year to get pregnant after a vasectomy reversal. Although a few couples conceive after several months, others take several years to conceive and bring home a baby.

Success depends on the couple
Vasectomy reversal success rates are higher in couples that have already achieved a healthy pregnancy together.

Before your partner opts for a vasectomy reversal, you both should talk with the doctor about your health, your fertility risk factors, and the odds of conceiving. Your age and reproductive health play a major role in whether you can conceive after your partner’s vasectomy reversal.

Boost your vasectomy reversal success rate
To boost the chance of conceiving, make sure the urologist is both knowledgeable and experienced in performing vasectomy reversals.

Time is an important factor. When the reversal is done closer to the time of the original vasectomy, the vasectomy reversal success rates are higher.  Some research shows that men undergoing vasectomy reversal 15 years or more after a vasectomy will have a lower chance of success than men who do it earlier.

Find a local fertility specialist

Sources
  • American Society of Reproductive Medicine: The management of infertility due to obstructive azoospermia: Vasectomy Reversal
  • American Urological Association Foundation: Vasectomy Reversal
  • NIH: Facts About Vasectomy Safety
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