Gather information before proceeding with a vasectomy reversal.
Before making a final decision on this procedure, it is recommended that patients gather as much information as possible. Below are some common vasectomy reversal frequently asked questions. However, these may not cover everything that a couple would like to know before proceeding. Fortunately, Urology Austin providers are available to answer questions by scheduling a consultation.
Vasectomy reversal frequently asked questions
Who is the best candidate for a vasectomy reversal?
Some vasectomies can be reversed, meaning healthy sperm can be restored to the ejaculate. Vasectomy reversals are performed when the personal circumstances of a couple have changed: remarriage, the loss of a child, or the desire for more children. Any man who has had a vasectomy and is interested in having more children is a candidate for a vasectomy reversal.
What is the success rate of a vasectomy reversal?
Vasectomy reversals can be highly successful in returning sperm to ejaculate. However, men who experience the best success rates, had their vasectomy was within a few years of the reversal.
Are there alternatives to the vasectomy reversal? What are the options if the vasectomy reversal fails?
The more time that elapses between the vasectomy and the vasectomy reversal, the more success rates begin to decline. In certain instances, the vasectomy reversal will not be successful. When reversal fails, options can include:
- Performing a second vasectomy reversal.
- Undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the patient’s sperm that is harvested (microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration -MESA), or by using donor sperm.
Does a vasectomy reversal make financial sense compared to alternatives?
Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the cost-effectiveness of a vasectomy reversal compared to only harvesting sperm for an IVF procedure. These studies confirm common sense: a vasectomy reversal is considered a less expensive and simpler way to have more children compared to IVF using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). To be certain, it is recommended that all pricing is reviewed and confirmed in advance.
Is sperm quality different after a vasectomy reversal?
Some couples are curious about the quality of sperm following a vasectomy reversal. The quality and quantity of sperm generally return to the baseline characteristics which were present before the vasectomy. Furthermore, there is no evidence that children conceived following a vasectomy reversal have any issue with birth defects or developmental abnormalities, nor is there any evidence that there is an increased risk of miscarriages.
What is the overall step-by-step experience of getting a vasectomy reversal, from the first visit to the post-op phase?
The step-by-step process of proceeding with a vasectomy reversal is to meet with a urologist who has expertise in vasectomy reversals. The urologist will review your history, perform a physical exam, and assess for the distance between the two ends of the sperm duct on both sides. The examine of the male partner is also to make sure there are no abnormalities that could complicate a successful vasectomy reversal.
The vasectomy reversal is an outpatient surgery. Patients are typically asked to abstain from sexual activity for one month following the vasectomy reversal. Light activity is acceptable following the procedure, but the patient should abstain from vigorous activity following the procedure for one month.
What are the risks of a vasectomy reversal?
The largest risk is that the vasectomy reversal will not be successful. Other risks can include:
- Sperm granuloma
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
What can be expected after a vasectomy reversal?
Recovery from a vasectomy reversal should be relatively short. Pain is usually controlled with over-the-counter oral medications. Patients can generally resume to their normal routines within a week, however, only light work is recommended. It is advisable to refrain from heavy physical activity for about four weeks. It is recommended that men wear an athletic supporter for several weeks, and abstrain from sex for at least two weeks. On average, it takes one year to achieve a pregnancy after a vasectomy reversal. However, some pregnancies occur in the first few months after the reversal procedure.
If you are interesting in scheduling an evaluation for a vasectomy reversal, contact Urology Austin to schedule and appointment.
Watch Dr. Herb Singh’s interview on KVUE-TVs Spotlight ATX about vasectomy reversals – air date March 2022