(713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Oct 28, 2014 — by Larry Lipshultz

A man smiling while outdoorsOne reason that so many patients in and around Houston trust Dr. Larry Lipshultz so much is his willingness to answer questions. Patient education is crucial when it comes to men's health issues, particularly ones as complex as vasectomy reversal. Undergoing vasectomy reversal restores a man's ability to father children naturally, and understanding what it involves can improve overall patient experience and expectations.

With that in mind, below we have answers some of the most common questions about vasectomy reversal so that you have a better understanding of what is involved.

What is vasectomy reversal?

A vasectomy reversal is a procedure that reconnects the tubes that were severed during the initial vasectomy. By doing this, a man's ability to father a child through intercourse is restored.

How effective is vasectomy reversal?

Vasectomy reversal is generally effective given the timing of the procedure. Many men achieve patency (the return of moving sperm to the semen) within three months of the surgery.

As for pregnancy success rates, these tend to hover around 50%, though there are many different factors that can affect the rate of pregnancy related to male and/or female fertility matters.

Is there an ideal time to have a vasectomy reversal performed?

We mentioned timing above, and the timing of vasectomy reversal is crucial. The surgery is most effective if it is performed within three years of the initial vasectomy. As the years accrue, effectiveness goes down. Patency is still possible, but the rates diminish, and pregnancy success is adversely affected as well.

Can I still have vasectomy reversal performed if it has been more than 10 years after the original vasectomy?

Yes, but keep in mind that the success rate will be much lower than if you were to have undergone the surgery earlier.

What side effects are common after vasectomy reversal?

Some of the common side effects after undergoing vasectomy reversal include:

  • Discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue

What are the potential complications of vasectomy reversal?

Some potential complications that may occur after vasectomy reversal include:

  • Infection
  • Hematoma
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Nerve damage
  • Artery damage

Is vasectomy reversal covered by health insurance?

In general, medical insurance coverage for vasectomy reversal is very rare. Be sure to check with you insurance provider just in case you qualify for coverage.

Can flex spending accounts (FSAs) be used to pay for vasectomy reversal?

Yes, vasectomy reversal is eligible to be covered by funds from a flex spending accounts (FSAs). Remember that there is a $2,500 cap on annual contributions to an FSA and that the account can only be used for reimbursement rather than a means of forwarding you money for the procedure..

What alternatives to vasectomy reversal are effective?

If vasectomy reversal does not seem like an ideal option for you, there are various sperm retrieval techniques to consider. These will involve the extraction of viable sperm directly from the testicles so that insemination can be performed in a lab via in vitro fertilization (IVF).

How can I learn more about vasectomy reversal?

If you would like more information about vasectomy reversal and other matters related to male fertility, it's important that you get in touch with Dr. Lipshultz. To schedule a consultation to learn more, be sure to contact our men's health and fertility treatment center today.