What Is The Vasectomy Reversal Success Rate?

Happy man and woman getting positive pregnancy test results.

Maybe you once thought that you didn’t want to have children (or have any more children), but now you feel differently. It’s possible that your life circumstances may have changed suddenly and now you have second thoughts about having kids.

Perhaps you remarried and both you and your new partner want to have a child together. If so, you could be facing an important decision about having a vasectomy reversal.

Approximately 1 out of 10 men who have had vasectomies choose to reverse the procedure.(1)

Here are some helpful facts concerning vasectomy reversal success rates.

What Is The Success Rate Of A Vasectomy Reversal?

Depending upon the type of procedure used, the success rate for a vasectomy reversal can be as high as 90-95%. Specifically, vasovasotomy success rates are 90-95% effective, while vasoepididymostomy success rates are lower, at around 65-70% effective.(2)

The vasectomy reversal in either type of surgery is more successful when microsurgery is used, as it allows for greater precision during the procedure. Microsurgery involves using an operating microscope while performing the operation.

Research involving vasectomy reversals has shown an increase in success rates. For example, a significant study involving over 1,000 men revealed varied results depending on how long it had been since they had their vasectomies.

97% of the men who had their vasectomies less than three years prior showed sperm in their semen after reversal, and 76% went on to have successful pregnancies with their partners.

88% of the men who had a vasectomy within 3-8 years prior were able to produce sperm in their semen following reversal. Of these, 53% went on to achieve pregnancy with their partners.

79% of the reversals that occurred between 9-14 years prior showed sperm in the semen with a 44% pregnancy rate. Even after 15 years, 71% were still able to produce sperm in their ejaculate after reversal, while 30% of them were able to achieve pregnancy with their partners.

What Factors Determine A Successful Vasectomy Reversal?

Whether or not a vasectomy reversal is successful depends on several factors. In general, if your vasectomy was performed less than 10 years ago, the odds of having a successful vasectomy reversal are 95% or better. However, the success rate for a vasectomy that occurred more than 15 years ago is lower.

Additionally, actual pregnancy rates following a successful reversal vary widely, ranging from 30 to over 75%. These rates largely depend upon the type of vasectomy reversal that is performed.(3)

Vasovasotomy Vs. Vasoepididymostomy

A significant factor affecting the success rate of a vasectomy reversal depends on what the surgeon discovers during the operation. If there is still sperm present in the tubes that transport the sperm (called the vas deferens), then it is only a simple matter of reattaching the ends together, a procedure known as a vasovasotomy.

On the other hand, if the surgeon determines that there is no sperm in the vas deferens, he or she will need to perform a vasoepididymostomy. This procedure connects the vas-deferens to your epididymis where the sperm matures.

If it is necessary to perform a vasoepididymostomy, the chances of sperm being present again in the semen vary from 58-85%. It also results in a wide ranging rate of pregnancy, anywhere from 11-56%.(4)

Other Factors

Even if sperm is detected in the semen following a vasectomy reversal, there are other factors that can influence pregnancy. After having a vasectomy reversal, pregnancy rates can vary based on things like sperm quality and the age of the mother.

Both men and women have lower fertility rates with age. The number of healthy, normal sperm decreases after the age of 50. In addition, sperm’s ability to swim (motility) also declines.


References:

  1. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/vasectomy-reversal-5-facts-men-need-to-know-2/
  2. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-treatments/v/vasectomy-reversal.html
  3. https://uihc.org/health-topics/vasectomy-reversals-frequently-asked-questions
  4. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/452831-treatment
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