Can you reverse a vasectomy?

December 11 2020   |   News

A vasectomy is a permanent form of contraception and it is important for all of those having it to ensure it is the correct decision for them.

However, there are cases where vasectomy may have been completely the correct decision at the time, but due to a change in circumstance you may feel as though you now need a reversal.

And a reversal is possible but it is a complex operation and there is no guarantee that it will be a success.

A vasectomy is a minor operation which cuts off the vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm from your testicles to your penis) and is considered to be one of the most effective long-term methods of contraception.

The process involves splitting the tubes and sealing each end to stop the flow of sperm into your semen, the cuts in your skin are then closed using dissolvable stitches.

How is a reversal done?

Reversing the procedure involves reconnecting the tubes to allow them to once again carry sperm from your testicles to your penis.

If successful, it means you’ll have sperm in your semen and be fertile again. However, there’s no guarantee that the operation will lead to the option of a future pregnancy for your partner.

How successful is vasectomy reversal?

The success of a vasectomy reversal can depend on a number of factors. These include:

  • How long it has been since your original vasectomy procedure
  • The type of vasectomy you had originally
  • Scar tissue following the previous procedure
  • How mobile your sperm are following the two procedures of vasectomy and reversal

From figures based on the number of couples who have successfully had a baby after the man has had a vasectomy reversal the success rate of reversal is:

  • 75% if you have your vasectomy reversed within 3 years
  • up to 55% after 3 to 8 years
  • between 40% and 45% after 9 to 14 years
  • 30% after 15 to 19 years
  • less than 10% after 20 years

Pregnancy rates also depend on the fertility of the female partner and are lower if she is 40 or older.

What are the alternatives?

Fertility treatment can be an alternative if you have had a vasectomy. You can book a consultation with one of our GPs to find out more about fertility treatments or book an appointment directly with a fertility clinic.