Docteur Jean-Philippe Bercier BSc, MD, CCFP



Is Vasectomy Reversal Safe?

We Want to Have a Baby – Is Vasectomy Reversal a Safe Option?

A vasectomy is a common procedure for men who are done having children. If your circumstances change and you decide you want to father a child again, you might be wondering about a vasectomy reversal. Keep in mind that after a vasectomy, you still produce sperm. Although reversals aren’t as common as vasectomies, it is an option if you’ve changed your mind and want to have a baby with your loved one.

What Happens in a Vasectomy Reversal?

When you had your vasectomy, the doctor cut the vas deferens to prevent sperm from mixing with semen. The most common vasectomy reversal is the vasovasostomy, in which the two ends of the vas deferens are reconnected. When there is scarring from the original vasectomy, it might be difficult to reconnect the two ends successfully. The doctor can then perform a vasoepididymostomy, which connects the epididymis to the vas deferens. It’s a more technical surgery when the vasovasostomy is not possible.

How Hard is it to Recover from a Vasectomy Reversal?

A vasectomy reversal is an in-office procedure. You’ll go home the same day of the procedure. Typically, most men don’t experience more pain than the original vasectomy. You will need to take it easy for 5 to 14 days following the reversal, which is longer than you needed for the vasectomy. You should plan to avoid heavy lifting and sexual intercourse for four weeks after the reversal. Vasectomy reversals are a safe procedure that have few risks.

How Successful is Vasectomy Reversal?

Vasectomy reversals have a good success rate. In our office, about 85% of men report sperm recovery. The less time since the vasectomy, the higher rate of success. If the vasectomy was three years ago or less, we have a 97% success rate. For vasectomies older than 14 years, our success rate is 69%. Vasectomy reversals are generally performed with the end goal of a pregnancy. Because there are so many factors that affect pregnancy, it can be difficult to determine the success rate of pregnancies following a vasectomy reversal.

If you’re thinking about a vasectomy reversal, make an appointment with Dr. Bercier to get more information about the procedure and to discuss your medical history and overall health.