Phone: (713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Nov 13, 2014 — by Larry Lipshultz

A man in a room in his homeDr. Larry Lipshultz has helped countless patients from Austin and other cities in Texas achieve excellent results through vasectomy reversal, a way for men to reverse the effect of the initial surgery and father children naturally. There are a few things that can affect the success of a vasectomy reversal, one of which is the development of sperm antibodies. Let's consider this issue right now.

About Vasectomy Reversal

A common option for men looking for a permanent version of birth control is referred to as a vasectomy. However, as permanent as this procedure is considered, there is the option of vasectomy reversal, which involves reconnecting the tubes that were cut during the original vasectomy. While somewhat uncommon, some patients do decide they would like to become pregnant with their partner again, thus necessitating the procedure to reverse the original vasectomy.

The Development of Sperm Antibodies

Again, considering the general permanence of the original vasectomy, the success of a vasectomy reversal varies and is on a case-by-case basis. On some occasions, a build up of sperm antibodies may occur and over time, a patient may even develop antibodies to their own sperm. This affects the sperm's ability to reach and egg or to swim properly.

How well does vasectomy reversal work and how likely are sperm antibodies?

It's estimated that issues with sperm antibodies will occur in roughly 30 percent to 60 percent of men who undergo vasectomies. This is an important fact to keep in mind if you are considering reversal.

The sooner after your vasectomy you decide on a vasectomy reversal, the more likely you are for success. Many doctors find that if a patient decides on a vasectomy reversal within three years of the vasectomy, the patient's chances for success are higher, although pregnancy is still not guaranteed after the procedure.

What to Consider Before Your Vasectomy Reversal

There are a few risks to keep in mind when deciding on proceeding with a vasectomy reversal. Here are a few risks you should be aware of prior to your vasectomy reversal:

  • Infection at the site of surgery
  • Fluid buildup in the scrotum, which would require additional draining
  • Injury to the arteries or nerves in the scrotum

Your doctor will also want to confirm whether or not you were fertile prior to your original vasectomy. To do this, there are a number of tests your doctor may perform to see if you have sperm antibodies in your sperm.

What happens if sperm antibodies are present in my semen?

If there are antibodies present in your semen, the likelihood of getting pregnant is very low. If this is the case, there are a number of procedures you can also consider to become pregnant, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and various insemination procedures. These can be discussed in greater detail during your consultation.

Learn More About Treatments to Address Infertility

If you would like more information about vasectomy reversal and other issues that are related to male fertility, we encourage you to contact our men's health center today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you get the assistance you need.