Urology Blog

Vasectomy Reversal: What Happens in the Event of Failure?

Not long ago, having a vasectomy meant permanently altering the ability to conceive. This is a big decision for any man. As we have learned through years of providing vasectomy reversal services, life has a way of changing things. Fortunately, a vasectomy doesn’t carry the same permanence it once did. Many men who undergo vasectomy reversal have a strong chance of conceiving with their partner in the future. However, as with all things, there is no guarantee of success in this process. Here, we discuss what qualifies as a vasectomy reversal failure and what this event means for a couple’s hope to conceive.

Details about Vasectomy Reversal Failure

The vasectomy reversal procedure reconnects the vas deferens to return sperm to the semen. This return can take a full 12 months to happen. During the year after a vasectomy reversal, 85% of men treated regain the ability to procreate. Still, statistics indicate that only about half of the couples who try will become pregnant. This is because there are several factors involved, only some of which are related to the vasectomy reversal itself. We’ll start with those that do:

  1. Time since vasectomy is one of the leading factors that can affect the success of a reversal procedure. Experts believe that this is due to the increased likelihood of epididymal blockage.
  2. The vasectomy technique that is commonly selected first does not address blockage. Most men undergo a vasovasostomy, which reconnects the vas deferens only. When tubules are blocked, sperm may be returned to the seminal vesicles with a vasoepididymostomy.
  3. Scar tissue may develop after any type of surgery. The scar tissue that forms after a vasectomy can be addressed during vasectomy reversal. However, more scar tissue may create a blockage in the vas deferens, preventing sperm from reaching the seminal vesicles.

An additional reason why a vasectomy reversal may fail is that a man had undetected fertility issues before his vasectomy. Potential concerns include testicular atrophy and low sperm quality. As a couple attempts to become pregnant, it is also beneficial to evaluate viable fertility in the female partner.

What Happens After a Failed Vasectomy Reversal?

A lack of success with vasectomy reversal interestingly doesn’t mean that a man will never regain fertility. In many cases, a second reversal surgery can achieve the desired outcome. Statistics indicate that a second vasectomy reversal is successful 75% of the time. In these cases, just like an initial vasectomy reversal, approximately half of all couples become pregnant.

Are you considering vasectomy reversal? Contact our Chattanooga office at (423) 778-5910 to schedule a consultation with an experienced urologist.

Don’t Discount the Value of Vasectomy Reversal

Vasectomy Reversal Chattanooga, TNCompleting your family can be incredibly gratifying. Many people think long and hard about how many children they want to have and when they will stop having children. Often, this decision is made on the spot, with a sense of knowing that “this is it for us.” In most cases, once that door to having more children is closed, it never reopens. However, the unpredictability of life can disrupt such a decision. For the man who has undergone a vasectomy, the idea of future children may seem far-fetched. It doesn’t have to be. Vasectomy reversal offers hope to the vast majority of men who are interested in reinstating their fertility.

Pregnancy Success after Vasectomy Reversal

Historically, vasectomy has been perceived as a permanent form of birth control. However, in recent years, vasectomy reversal has become increasingly common. While it is impossible to guarantee complete success in every case, men are often surprised that their chances are far better than they imagine. According to statistics, approximately 76 percent of men who undergo vasectomy reversal within three years of their initial procedure are able to father children. Though success rates are lower (30%), men whose vasectomy reversal is performed more than a decade before their initial procedure may also be able to father more children.

Factors that Relate to Vasectomy Reversal Success

There are two ways in which vasectomy reversal success is measured. One is the presence of sperm in the patient’s ejaculate. The other is pregnancy. Generally, when sperm is identified in vasal fluid at the time of surgery, the procedure is considered a success. Conception after vasectomy reversal is affected by other contributing factors, though, including the age of the parents and the condition of the epididymis, the duct through which sperm travels.

Is IVF a Better Option?

Both IVF and vasectomy reversal are worth consideration for couples who wish to become pregnant after a man has had a vasectomy. When IVF is performed in such an instance, sperm is surgically extracted from the male partner. Eggs are extracted from the female partner, and the two meet in a laboratory setting. The entire IVF process is quite involved and requires multiple procedures for many couples. This increases the cost of care but does not significantly increase the likelihood of conceiving. Studies suggest that approximately 40% of IVF couples complete a successful pregnancy, while 43% of vasectomy reversal couples achieve the same.

We are here to help you navigate your option for vasectomy reversal in Chattanooga, TN. For more information, call (423) 778-8765.

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