For couples who want children, the sense of yearning is strong and any obstacle to fertility seems daunting. That can be especially true for men who at one point has a vasectomy to ensure that they would have no more children, but who later have reason to change their minds.
When men come to Moorgate Andrology to ask about a vasectomy reversal it is usually for one of two main reasons. Either they have divorced and have a new partner who wants children, or they may have decided to have another child again. Each time, the men are naturally nervous about what the procedure will be like, and what its chances of success are.
Vasectomy Reversal Success Rate
Though vasectomy reversals take around three hours, they are outpatient procedures with quick recovery time, just like vasectomies are. The success rate in reconnecting the vas deferens – the tube that was severed during vasectomy – is very high, about 90%. But while that is a reflection of a successful surgery, it does not always translate into the more important outcome couples seek – pregnancy. The chances of pregnancy within a couple of years after reversal are only around 40-50%.
Why Some Vasectomy Reversals Fail
Why is this? It depends on multiple factors:
- Age and Time. Notably the age of the partner and, to a lesser extent, the time that has passed since the vasectomy.
- Original Vasectomy. The vasectomy itself may also be a factor. The original procedure might have caused a breach of the blood-testis barrier. If the patient’s blood is exposed to semen, the man’s immune system will generate antibodies to the sperm, rendering them less able to fertilise.
Obstruction at Vasectomy Site. Another possibility. There can be a second, more distant obstruction on the abdominal side of the vasectomy site, keeping the sperm from making it through, although this can be determined during surgery. Part of the procedure also requires examination, with microscopic magnification, to look for active sperm on the testicular side of where the vas was severed. If it is not there, a more complex procedure is required that connects the vas closer to the epididymis, the duct that wraps around the testicle and where sperm matures. The need for this procedure is more likely when eight or more years have passed since the vasectomy, although please note that it generally has lower success rates.
If you are interested in having either a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal, then contact us today and book a consultation.