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VASECTOMY REVERSAL
SUCCESS OF VASECTOMY REVERSAL

The single largest predictor of vasectomy reversal success is the length of time since the vasectomy was performed.

The success of vasectomy reversal in restoring sperm to the ejaculate can be as high as 97%. Even when men have vasectomy reversal more than 15 years after their vasectomy the success of the reversal can be 60% to 70%.

Success of vasectomy: Time is the most critical factor

The time elapsed since having a vasectomy is the most important factor in determining the success of vasectomy reversal surgery.

• Reversal less than 3 years of vasectomy, reversal success is 97%
• Reversal within 3 to 8 years of vasectomy, reversal success rate is 91%
• Reversal within 9 to 14 years of vasectomy, reversal success rate is 82%
• Reversal 14 years or more after vasectomy, reversal success rate is 69%

Why is time since vasectomy important?

When considering sterilization reversal, the passage of time is more important after vasectomy than it is after female tubal ligation. After female tubal ligation, time is important because with increased age the ability of a woman to become natural pregnant declines. After vasectomy, time is important because there can be destructive changes which occur in the epididymis which can impair sperm production.

Sperm are continually produced in the epididymis after a vasectomy and travel up the vas deferens. After a vasectomy, the sperm will be trapped in the lower portion of the vas deferens with nowhere to escape. These sperm will slowly be recycled and reabsorbed by the man’s body but this process will increase the pressure in the lower end of the vas deferens and the epididymis. This increased pressure can cause changes in the epididymis and the epididymis may become dysfunctional.

These changes after vasectomy do not happen to all men but with the passage of time these changes can become more pronounced and can decrease the success of vasectomy reversal.

The average success of restoring sperm to the ejaculate of all vasectomy reversal procedures is approximately 85%.

12 thoughts on “Vasectomy Reversal Success”

  1. C says:

    I had essure placement and ablasion in 2016 and my husband had a vasectomy in 2015. We are have 3 kids, 1 miscarriage at 14 weeks. What are our chances of conception after these procedures? I am 31 and he is 35. My BMI is 21%.

    1. Dr. Monteith says:

      You have some many hurdles to over come. No one can answer your question about the chance of natural pregnancy. You have several options: (1) give up (2) adopt (3) IVF with sperm aspiration and using a gestational surrogate, or (4) male and female reversal and hope for the best. No IVF doctor will want to work with you because of the ablation.

      In general it is recommended that you not become pregnant after having an ablation procedure.

      Tubal reversal and pregnancy are possible if you are having regular periods of at least 3 days duration after your ablation. All pregnancies after ablation are considered high risk. Most IVF doctors will recommend using a gestational surrogate. IVF costs average $14,000 and you will have to pay the surrogate even more.

      If you are not having periods then we would not consider you a candidate for reversal. There is no medical treatment to make your periods return.

      Ablation will decrease the chance of pregnancy because it permanently damages the lining and muscle of the uterus.

      If your periods are light then you do have some functioning endometriumm but we are not always certain if it is enough to allow for pregnancy. There is no accurate way to be certain.

      We cannot provide an accurate percentage about the success of women getting pregnant after reversal with a prior ablation because there are no large scale studies looking at this. We have had women become pregnant naturally after tubal reversal with a prior ablation but don’t have a large enough group of these patients to provide meaningful statistics.

      Studies looking at women who have become pregnant after ablation show that about 50% will miscarry and about 50% will have live born babies.

      You should read these six articles I wrote about ablation, reversal, and the risks of pregnancy: Tubal Reversal and Ablation

      The ablation will decrease the chances of pregnancy but if you are having regular monthly periods of at least three days duration then pregnancy is certainly possible. If you are not having regular periods then I would advise against a reversal because pregnancy is not likely.

      In general pregnancy is not recommended after ablation because each pregnancy is at higher risk; miscarriage, growth restriction, early delivery, c-section and adherent placenta. The literature suggests pregnancies are at higher risk but many will do well.

      It is possible to become pregnant after having an endometrial ablation and then a tubal reversal and have a healthy pregnancy if you are having regular periods of at least three days duration every month. Please call us at (919)977-5050 if you have any additional questions about tubal reversal.

      To be considered a candidate by our office you need to be having regular periods (every month) and these periods need to last for at least three days.

      All patients with ablations need a consult with me (Dr Monteith) either by phone or in person before they can schedule reversal surgery.

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