MFS Fertility Blog

Should I Give Up After a Vasectomy Reversal Failure?

Posted on July 24, 2014

Vasectomy reversals generally have very impressive success rates. In fact, Dr. Bastuba of Male Fertility Specialists has a 98% vasectomy reversal success rate. Though it is not common, there are times when a vasectomy reversal is not successful. The most common reason for a failed vasectomy reversal surgery is that it is a complex, challenging procedure; thus, a less experienced specialist might not have the expertise to complete the procedure successfully. To cut the risk of failure, it is essential that patients seek treatment from a qualified and experienced fertility specialist trained in state-of-the-art microsurgery techniques – for example, Dr. Bastuba, who has performed over 3,000 vasectomy reversals. 

A vasectomy reversal is an inherently challenging procedure which may be even more difficult if a long period of time has passed since the original vasectomy. In addition, each person is likely to respond to complex surgery in slightly different ways. Here are three reasons why a vasectomy reversal may have failed and why you shouldn't give up on having a child:

1. Pre-vasectomy sperm quality
Unless you have already fathered at least one child or had your sperm quality tested before the original vasectomy, the chance exists that you are experiencing difficultly conceiving now because your sperm quality has always been low – you just weren't aware of it. A blood test and physical exam will help identify a low sperm count.

2. Scar tissue
In a small percentage of vasectomy reversals, scar tissue develops where the vas deferens is reconnected. This scar tissue can block normal healthy sperm, preventing pregnancy. Your doctor will determine if it is necessary to repeat the vasectomy reversal procedure or, alternatively, if anti-inflammatory medicine will successfully treat the scar tissue.

3. Reaction to sperm
Men can sometimes develop an adverse reaction known as “sperm antibodies” after a vasectomy. These antibodies affect sperm as they try to connect with a woman's egg. Your doctor will test to see if sperm antibodies are present and determine if treatment or other fertility services such as intra-uterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) are needed.

Vasectomy reversal failure is not a straightforward issue – there are many potential reasons why you may be unable to conceive. It's important to remember that treatment options are available should you fail to achieve a pregnancy after the procedure. Please contact Male Fertility Specialists to discuss any issues you may be having with post-vasectomy reversal, and we'll be happy to schedule a consultation. 

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