Today, many men have embraced vasectomy as a form of contraception. However, a lot of them always want to know if vasectomy is reversible and the success rates of the procedure. To clear the doubts and misconceptions, vasectomy is reversible in most cases. Although vasectomy is considered permanent, advances in microsurgery have made it possible to reverse it. The vasectomy reversal procedure is successful most of the time, but it cannot be guaranteed. It is always better to check your doctor’s success record before undergoing the procedure.
Men decide to undo a vasectomy for different reasons. It could be due to remarriage, loss of a child or a change of heart. In other cases, men undergo vasectomy reversal due to testicular pain that may have been caused by a vasectomy. Studies show that 10% of vasectomy patients experience post-vasectomy pain syndrome. Some have chronic pains while others have pain during sexual intercourse.
While a vasectomy is a minor surgery that can take less than 30 minutes, a reversal procedure is considered a major surgery which is also quite complex and hence can be costly. In most cases, the procedure can cost anywhere between $4,000 and $15,000, depending on the clinic. Most health insurance plans do not cover vasectomy reversal, but you can persuade your doctor to approach the insurance company.
The vasectomy reversal procedure is complicated and takes about 2-5 hours. The operation can be done in two ways:
Vasovasostomy: This technique involves sewing all the severed ends of the sperm carrying tubes (vas deferens) back together to enable sperm to pass from the testicles to the semen. The procedure’s success depends on the length of time that has passed since the vasectomy, the nature of the surgery, the usage of microscopic surgical equipment, and the age of the person.
Vasoepididymostomy: This method involves attaching the vas deferens directly to the epididymis. It is more complicated than vasovasostomy and is usually chosen if vasovasostomy is not successful.
The surgeon decides on the technique that is likely to work best depending on your anatomy and other factors. However, sometimes both procedures may be required – a vasovasostomy on one side and a vasoepididymostomy on the other. The procedures are complicated hence it’s important to look for an experienced surgeon.
The typical measure of the success of the reversal procedure is the man’s ability to have a child. The reversal operation has to work for a man to become fertile again. The more the years it has been since having the vasectomy operation, the more difficult it is to reverse it.
Vasectomy reversals are not always successful. Couples who wish to have a child have other alternatives such as in vitro fertilization and adoption. People are always advised to freeze their sperm before getting a vasectomy. If they didn’t have sperm frozen, in vitro fertilization can still happen using sperm retrieved directly from the testicles. Alternatively, the couple can get sperm from sperm banks.