Common questions about vasectomy reversal answered
Every year more than half a million men in the United States opt for a vasectomy to prevent pregnancy. It is the number one form of birth control, following abstinence, and a common and effective choice by men and their families. During the vasectomy procedure, the pathway that carries sperm to the semen is cut, preventing pregnancy. However, sometimes men change their minds about having a child and want the procedure reversed. Dr. Jeffrey Buch of Legacy Male Health in Frisco, Texas, has helped many men reverse their decision and their vasectomy. Here he answers many of the common questions raised by his patients.
Why do men choose a vasectomy reversal?
Just like the decision to have a vasectomy, deciding to reverse the procedure is deeply personal and unique to each patient. Change in marital status, tragedy, or a simple change of heart are all common reasons that men investigate vasectomy reversals to have the option to have another child. Some reverse the procedure because they’ve experienced pain from the initial vasectomy.
What is the vasectomy reversal treatment like?
Vasectomy reversal is most often an outpatient procedure performed in a surgery center or in an in-office surgery suite. Although it is a procedure that requires high-powered technology and a skilled surgeon, with this treatment, most men can conceive a child in the first year following the procedure, when done by a skilled microsurgeon who understands the complete field of male fertility.
Does the treatment hurt?
Most doctors perform this procedure under general anesthesia, but currently, Dr. Buch performs 95 % of his cases in his in-office surgery suite under local anesthesia with oral agent sedation. Discomfort following the surgery is minimal and easily controlled with mild medication. The majority of patients say that vasectomy reversal recovery is much like the recovery from the initial procedure, with 25% saying it is easier.
Are there any concerning side effects?
Side effects are rare but can include bleeding or swelling in the scrotum, infection, or moderate discomfort. If you experience any of these side effects, you should call your doctor for guidance.
How do I know if the reversal procedure worked?
Patients will know that their reversal procedure worked if sperm appear in the semen in the months following the treatment. Your physician will collect semen samples beginning one month after the procedure and it can take 6 to 9 months for maximal improvement; however, it could take up to a year for sperm to appear in the semen when a bypass to the epididymis has been needed on both sides.
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Will a vasectomy reversal impact my intimate relationship with my partner?
Men who undergo a vasectomy reversal will be told to avoid sex or ejaculation for 10-14 days following the procedure. That helps increase the procedure’s success rate and decreases the chance of side effects. Following this period, men can resume normal intimate activities with their partners.
Is vasectomy reversal expensive?
Your exact costs will depend on several factors, including in-office or surgery center with general anesthesia, travel, and recovery. Vasectomy reversal is rarely covered by insurance; however, the Legacy Male Health team offers financing options that make the treatment more affordable.