The Factors That Contribute to a Successful Vasectomy Reversal
One of the first questions men considering a vasectomy reversal ask during their consultation is about time: has it been too long since the original vasectomy?
It’s a very common concern addressed by Dr. Bastuba of the Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists – that too many years have passed since the vasectomy and the chances of a successful reversal could be low. Fortunately, the length of time since your vasectomy was performed probably does not have as large an impact as you think. In fact, Dr. Bastuba has performed successful vasectomy reversals on patients who had the original procedure done several decades before. That being said, there are additional factors that can contribute to the success of a vasectomy reversal, some of which we’ve detailed below.
How we measure vasectomy reversal success
First, some statistics: Dr. Bastuba measures the success of a vasectomy reversal on the “patency success rate” and “pregnancy success rate.” Patency refers to sperm returning to the patient’s ejaculate after the reversal procedure. Pregnancy refers to whether the couple is able to conceive. It is important to note that pregnancy success rates will generally be lower than patency rates because conception depends on several factors aside for sperm, such as the female partner’s age and other potential fertility concerns and conditions.
Dr. Bastuba’s success rate for the standard vasovasostomy (vasectomy reversal) is 98% patency success and 65 to 75% pregnancy success. For the more complex vasoepididymostomy procedure, his patency success rate is 90%, with a 40 to 60% pregnancy success rate.
What will make your vasectomy reversal more likely to succeed?
- Location – The location of the original vasectomy site is important. Some vasectomies occur close to the testicle, and these are typically more difficult to reverse and can require a vasoepididymostomy. If a vasectomy occurred further away from the testicle, then the success of a reversal will be higher.
- Fertility history – Have you previously conceived with your current partner? Your fertility history will play a role in whether you are more likely to conceive post-reversal. Fertility issues are common in cases where a pregnancy is not achieved within six months to one year, depending on the age of the female partner.
- Overall health – Your weight and other lifestyle habits play a role in your ability to successfully conceive.
The microsurgeon performing your vasectomy will observe if there is a need to perform a vasoepididymostomy instead of the standard vasovasostomy. These factors include the presence of an epididymal blockage, the length of your vas deferens and the size of your testicles.