(713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Nov 20, 2014 — by Larry Lipshultz

An older man considers medical options at homeDr. Larry Lipshultz has helped many men father children again thanks to vasectomy reversal surgery at his Houston men's health center. When performed within the first three years of the initial vasectomy, success is more likely. There are multiple reasons why a vasectomy reversal may not work, however. The notion of surgical failure is something we'd like to explore in brief right now.

Defining Success and Failure in Vasectomy Reversal

Unlike other procedures, the success of a vasectomy reversal is based solely on whether or not the patient is able to achieve pregnancy. The failure of a vasectomy reversal can be due to a number of reasons and are not exclusive to only a certain type of patient. Some of these factors include the following issues listed below.

Age/Mutual Issues with Infertility

Even after a vasectomy reversal, pregnancy involves two parties. While the sperm count may be sufficient after a vasectomy reversal, the procedure is typically done in older patients. If the female partner;s age is beyond a certain threshold, the female partner's fertility may also be lower, reducing the possibility of pregnancy.

Sperm Antibodies After the Initial Vasectomy

Many men, even after a vasectomy reversal, develop antibodies to their own sperm. With this resistance to their own sperm, impair the overall function of the sperm or even affect its interaction with an egg and impacting the possibility of pregnancy. We wrote about the presence of sperm antibodies following vasectomy reversal in a previous blog post, which we encourage you to read.

Blockages in Caused by Surgical Scar Tissue

Blockage in the scrotum can also be caused by scar tissue after the procedure. Although there are some cases in which this can be treated with an anti-inflammatory, there are also cases in which the patient may require additional vasectomy reversal procedures. Still, even additional procedures will not ensure overall success of the vasectomy reversal.

Problems with Sperm Quality

After the original vasectomy, there may be sufficient amounts of sperm built up to cause pregnancy. However, with the original vasectomy, the motility of sperm may have been affected. Even though there may be sufficient amounts of sperm to lead to pregnancy, the lack of motility for the sperm prior to the vasectomy reversal may prevent patients from achieving pregnancy. Similar issues could affect the count of the sperm or the general morphology of the sperm.

Complications from Vasectomy Reversal Surgery

Vasectomy reversals are fairly simple procedures and the risks for additional complications are low. However, there are small chances of infection or bleeding after the vasectomy reversal. If you do experience bleeding, it could result in blood clots or additional complications that would require surgical draining.

Overcoming Vasectomy Reversal Failure

There are plenty of treatment options to consider if vasectomy reversal has failed. In vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproduction options may be ideal, for instance. Various forms of sperm retrieval and insemination are also potential options. During your visit, we will be sure to go over all of these matter in greater detail so that you can make the best choice for you.

Learn More Men's Health and Infertility Treatments

To learn more about vasectomy reversal and how we can help you start the family that you have always wanted to have, be sure to contact our men's health medical center today. We will be more than happy to go over all of your options for advanced care in greater detail.