A vasectomy is a reliable permanent birth control method done by men, a popular choice for its safety and effectiveness. However, over time, some men may have had a change of heart and want to begin a family or add to theirs or have lost a child and would like to try again. Whatever the reason, many ask us can you reverse a vasectomy? Read on to find out.
Can You Reverse a Vasectomy?
Fortunately, YES, you can reverse a vasectomy. But how exactly is this done?
Two methods can be performed.
The first method is a vasovasostomy, a procedure where the doctor will sew the ends of the vas deferens back together to reconnect the tube.
The second method is vasoepididymostomy. This is when the doctor will attach the vas deference to the small organ located at the back of the testicles holding sperm. This method is actually more difficult than the first, with doctors only choosing this method if you are unable to have a vasovasostomy or think it won't be effective.
A vasectomy reversal would happen in a clinic or hospital. You will be given an anesthetic, so you won't be awake or feel anything throughout the procedure. The procedure can take between 2-4 hours, and like a vasectomy, you can go home within the day, with full recovery taking about two weeks, depending on your pain tolerance and how well you care for yourself during those days.
You can reverse vasectomies multiple times, through the success rate might decrease with every reversal.
Are There Any Side Effects of a Vasectomy Reversal?
Like most surgical procedures, there are side effects. However, they are extremely rare, and if they do occur, they include:
- Bleeding in the scrotum, which leads to painful swelling. This is avoidable by following your doctor’s orders before and after the procedure.
- Infection is a possibility with any type of procedure, but it can be treated by antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
- Severe or persistent pain, which can be eased up with over-the-counter pain relievers or pain medication prescribed by the doctor.
However, if the pain and discomfort get too intense that medication can’t solve it, then it’s best to contact your doctor immediately.
If you’re wondering whether or not the reversal procedure will affect your sex life, it won’t. However, you shouldn’t ejaculate or have sex until you get the go signal from the doctor, which is in about 2-3 weeks after the procedure.
How Will I Know If It Worked?
You will know if the vasectomy reversal was successful if you take a test to see if sperm appears in your semen after a couple of months. The doctor collects samples and will examine them for 4-6 months, which is enough time for your sperm counts to stabilize.
You can use a mail-in testing kit like Male From Home to see if you have live sperm in your semen.
For those who underwent a vasovasostomy, it may take between 6-12 months before sperm return. For those who had a vasoepididymostomy, it might take over a year before it does.
Once sperm is back in your semen, you have more chances to conceive. But the success of the reversal would depend on various factors, such as the type of vasectomy you had, as well as other factors that may keep you and your partner from conceiving.
Hopefully, this article gave insight and answered your question, “can you reverse a vasectomy?” If you would like to reverse your procedure, talk with your urologist about the options you have, and weigh the pros and cons of the reversal. Good luck!