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Making an Informed Decision: Vasectomy Reversal Facts & Figures 

Vasectomy reversal is a surgical procedure performed by a Urologist that reconnects the male reproductive tract after interruption by a vasectomy. Two procedures are possible at the time of vasectomy reversal: vasovasostomy (vas deferens to vas deferens connection) and epididymovasostomy (epididymis to vas deferens connection). Dr. Larry Lipshultz and his staff can discuss vasectomy reversal facts with you at their Houston practice so you can make the best choice for your health.  

The microsurgical approach is recommended and uses a high-powered microscope to magnify structures from 5 to 40 times their actual size. Use of an operating microscope provides better results, as it allows the urologist to manipulate stitches smaller in diameter than an eyelash to join the ends of the vas.

Here are 10 facts about vasectomy reversals:

  1. About 600,000 vasectomies are performed every year in the US.
  2. The first microsurgical vasectomy reversal was performed by Earl Owen in 1971.
  3. 5% of men seek vasectomy reversal annually.
  4. There are a number of reasons why men seek a vasectomy reversal
    • wanting a family with a new partner following a relationship breakdown / divorce
    • their original wife/partner dying and subsequently going on to re-partner and to want children
    • the unexpected death of a child (or children – such as by car accident)
    • long-standing couple changing their mind some time later often by situations such as improved finances or existing children approaching the age of school or leaving home
    • a small number of vasectomy reversals are also performed to relieve post-vasectomy pain syndrome
  5. A major factor in the success of a vasectomy reversal depends on how long ago the original vasectomy was performed.  The best odds for success are if it is reversed within 3 to 10 years. 
  6. The urologist will request a semen analysis every two to three months after surgery until the sperm count either stabilizes or pregnancy occurs.  While sperm generally appear in the semen within a few months after a vasovasostomy, it may take from three to 15 months to appear after a vasoepididymostomy.
  7. 75-99% of men have sperm return to their semen.  30-75% of their female partners become pregnant.
  8. Average time to pregnancy after reversal ranges from 9-14 months.
  9. Female age is the single most powerful factor determining the pregnancy rate following any fertility treatment including vasectomy reversal.  Female fertility declines significantly after the age of 37.
  10. Cryopreservation of sperm (sperm banking) is routinely performed at the time of vasectomy reversal.