Posts Tagged ‘microsurgical vasectomy reversal’

Myths vs. Facts – Vasectomy Reversal Success Rates

Friday, June 10th, 2011

It is important to separate the myths from the facts when determining whether a vasectomy reversal is the right option.  Choosing the right vasectomy reversal doctor is one of the most important things to do as it increases the chances of a successful reversal greatly.  In most cases, the doctor who performed your vasectomy may not be the one to ask about the success rate of reversals, unless they have significant experience in performing them.  In addition, knowing which are myths and which are facts regarding vasectomy reversals can also aid in making the proper decision.

Men Stop Making Sperm After Vasectomy

This is a commonly believed myth but the truth is that men continue making sperm even after vasectomy.  Injury, chemical or toxin exposures or other medical factors are the only things that will cause a man to stop making sperm.  Some urologists still perform sperm production tests before agreeing to do a vasectomy reversal, yet protocol used by vasectomy reversal specialists indicates that such additional testing is not necessary.

Vasectomy Reversals Do Not Work After 10 Years

It is true that success rates do decline the longer after a vasectomy that the reversal is performed.  However, that does not mean reversals will not work after a certain period of time. Recent studies showthat areversal performed less than 3 years after the vasectomy results in a 97% success rate, while reversals performed more than 15 years after the vasectomy results in a 71% success rate. With refinement of the vasoepididymostomy surgery, there has been a dramatic increase in the success rate of vasectomy reversals performed more than 15 years after the vasectomy, and true experts have success rates of 85 percent or more in such cases.

Sperm Antibodies Will Prevent Pregnancy

Before vasectomy, sperm is protected by the testicles against the immune system so that the body does not even know they exist.  After vasectomy, some sperm may leak from the vasectomy site, and the sperm appears as a foreign substance, so the body creates antibodies to fight off what it perceives as a threat.  Although these antibodies will appear in the bloodstream, they cause no harm and typically disappear after a successful vasectomy reversal. In some cases, sperm antibodies persist after successful reversal but they are treatable with medication. Rarely do sperm antibodies prevent pregnancy.

My Urologist Can Perform My Reversal

Before using the same doctor who performed your vasectomy to perform your vasectomy reversal, it is important to know how much experience the doctor has had in successfully reversing vasectomies. A vasectomy is a very simple procedure that takes only a short period of time to perform. A reversal is a lengthy procedure, requiring significant microsurgery techniques and microsuturing. Therefore, it is important to choose a surgeon with extensive experience in performing vasectomy reversals.

By separating myth from fact, couples can make better informed choices in order to regain fertility after vasectomy.  By choosing a highly-qualified doctor with experience in the delicate reversal surgery, their success rate will be significantly higher than choosing a doctor with less experience.  For more information regarding microsurgical vasectomy reversal, visit