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Glamorgan Urology: Vasectomy Reversal

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Vasectomy Reversal

Circumstances change in everyone’s life. Sometimes new relationships develop and men who have previously have had a vasectomy seek reversal of the operation to allow sperm to once again able to pass from the testis to the penis. The sooner the reversal is performed after vasectomy the greater the success rates.

Common Questions

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

A vasectomy should be considered permanent. It may be technically possible however to re-join the separated ends of the sperm ducts to allow restoration of sperm in the semen, but there is no assurance pregnancy will be achievable for all couples. Success varies greatly depending on many factors, including how much time has passed since the vasectomy. The operation is usually performed under general anaesthetic and may take an hour or more to perform. Scar tissue is removed at the ends of the divided tubes which are then rejoined often using magnification.

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How successful is reversal of vasectomy?

This depends upon the time that has passed between the original vasectomy and the planned reversal. Around eight out of ten men are able to father children if the reversal is performed within 5 years but the success rates falls as time goes on. Unfortunately there is no guarantee of success as even if you do regain sperm in your semen this does not mean that your partner will get pregnant as other factors are also important. Some other factors include your partner's age and her fertility, the presence of sperm antibodies or a problem with another part of the reproductive system.

Are there alternatives to reversal of vasectomy?

Assisted methods of fertilisation are available where sperm can be taken from your testicle and injected into your partner's egg ( intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)). The fertilised egg is then transferred to your partner's womb. ICSI requires your partner to have IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment. ICSI is not as successful as a vasectomy reversal.

Further information

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