While a vasectomy is generally considered a permanent form of birth control, some men may change their minds and decide to get a vasectomy reversal for any number of reasons. As with many medical procedures, there’s a lot of misinformation and myths floating about how a vasectomy works and whether it can be reversed.
At Midwest Regional Health Services, our team of primary care and family medicine doctors offers a range of family planning and reproductive health services for men and women at our clinic in Omaha, Nebraska.
Myths and facts about vasectomy reversals
Approximately half a million men get a vasectomy every year in the United States. Since a vasectomy is meant to be a permanent form of birth control for men who have already decided not to have more children (or not to have any children at all), men are typically advised to consider all of their options before committing to a vasectomy.
While vasectomy reversal is technically possible, the original procedure isn’t recommended if you think you might change your mind in the future. That said, it is possible to reverse a vasectomy. As such, the main myth about vasectomy reversal is that they’re impossible.
The fact is, it can be done, but here are some important factors to consider when making your decision to get a vasectomy in the first place, or to have it reversed some time in the future.
Like the initial procedure, a vasectomy can be reversed with a minimally invasive outpatient surgery where the vas deferens is reconnected to allow for the flow of sperm. According to the Cleveland Clinic, as many as 10% of men decide to reverse a vasectomy for any number of reasons. Here are some common myths and the facts that debunk them.
Myth: fertility will return right away after a vasectomy reversal
FACT: Your body doesn’t stop producing sperm after a vasectomy, so if the reversal procedure is successful, and there are no additional complications, most men can start trying to conceive again after the initial recovery period (about three weeks). However it can take up to a year to reach normal fertility levels after a vasectomy reversal.
Myth: vasectomy reversal will guarantee the ability to conceive
FACT: There are many factors that affect fertility and the chances of conceiving successfully, for both men and women. Even when a vasectomy reversal is successful, there are other factors that will affect conception, such as the age of both partners, sperm health, and underlying reproductive health issues in one or both partners.
If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal in order to try to conceive, it’s important for both partners to undergo fertility testing beforehand in order to account for all possible outcomes.
Myth: vasectomy reversal is invasive or painful
FACT: Like the original surgery, the reversal is minimally invasive, and you’ll be sedated so that you’re comfortable during the procedure. You’ll have to refrain from sex and strenuous activity for a few weeks as you heal.
For more information about vasectomy, and to decide whether the procedure is right for you, call us today at 402-745-1145 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, or request an appointment online.