MFS Fertility Blog

Your Top Vasectomy Reversal FAQs

Posted on April 23, 2015 in Vasectomy Reversal

Yes – a vasectomy can be successfully reversed. Whether or not this is possible is one of the first questions men and their partners have when they decide they want to try for a pregnancy, though the questions rarely end with that. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about vasectomies, and just as many about the vasectomy reversal procedure. Many men are concerned about the length of time since their vasectomy was performed and that it may just be too late for a reversal to work. Or that they may have stopped making sperm altogether.

In order to clear up the concerns of those interested in getting their vasectomy reversed, we've prepared a list of the top vasectomy reversal FAQs below.

Have I waited too long to have my vasectomy reversed?
Patients can have a successful vasectomy reversal up to several decades post-vasectomy. Dr. Martin Bastuba has performed successful vasectomy reversals on patients who had their vasectomy up to 40 years prior.

What will the success of my vasectomy reversal depend on?
A successful vasectomy reversal can depend on a few factors. An experienced, trained microsurgeon is recommended in order to ensure the best possible outcome. Patients are encouraged to speak with the individual performing the vasectomy procedure and ask about the physician's experience (Are they a microsurgeon?), their success rate, how many vasectomy reversals they have performed, and if anything in your medical or surgical history suggests that there are lowered chances of a successful reversal. In addition, the quality and success of the original vasectomy may play a role in how successful a reversal will be.

Have I stopped making sperm in the years post-vasectomy?
This is a common misconception. Men do not stop making sperm once a vasectomy has been performed. Your body will continue to make sperm – it will just be confined to the testes, which prevents pregnancy from occurring.

Will my vasectomy reversal be painful?
Similar to a vasectomy, a vasectomy reversal is an outpatient procedure which uses local anesthesia. Mild discomfort or pain may occur, but it can be easily relieved with over-the-counter pain relief medicine such as ibuprofen. Most men do not report experiencing more than mild discomfort or soreness in the hours and days after the procedure.

After the vasectomy reversal, when will we be able to conceive?
The time it takes sperm to return after the vasectomy reversal can depend on a couple of factors. If, during the reversal procedure, your surgeon encounters a complication, then it may take longer for sperm to appear. Sometimes a more complex vasectomy reversal procedure known as a vasoepididymostomy may be needed, which means that sperm can take around 6 months to a year to return.  Your surgeon will be able to give a more precise estimate after your vasectomy reversal consultation. 

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