Undo a vasectomy
Q&A with Dr. Manny: can I cancel my vasectomy?
You thought you were done with children, so that, vasectomy seemed like a great idea. But now, you have second thoughts. Is it too late to be a father again?
You probably think that you are out of luck, because vasectomies are considered a permanent form of birth control. But you can the rear of a vasectomy?
First of all, a vasectomy for a refresher: In the surgical procedure, your doctor will seal or cut the tubes—the vas deferens—link your testicles to your urethra. This stops the sperm in your semen. So you will still ejaculate as normal, but there is just no sperm in it. That means that there are no swimmers to fertilize her egg, then no baby. (Vasectomies do not protect you from STIS, though. You would still use a condom for safe sex.)
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It is not 100 percent guaranteed, but just ask NFL player Antonio Cromartie, whose wife is pregnant for the second time after his vasectomy. Yet they are considered the most reliable form of birth control, the provision of a 1 in 2000 chance of impregnating a woman after the procedure and recovery.
You should consider a vasectomy a permanent decision when you are considering getting one, but if you have second thoughts then there is a procedure called a vasectomy reversal recovery of fertility, said Jamin Brahmbhatt, M. D., co-director of the PUR Clinic at Orlando Health who specializes in the field of urology and andrology.
It is not a shoe-in for success, though. The success rate for vasectomy reversals is dependent on a number of factors, such as how long ago you had the vasectomy, and the condition of the fallopian tubes down there, he explained.
In most cases, if the vasectomy in the past seven years, a vasectomy reversal is a simple process of placing the tubes back into each other by means of microsurgery, he said. With a simple vasectomy reversal, his clinic sees about a 90 percent chance of success in obtaining live sperm in the ejaculate.
But if there is scarring, the vas deferens are too short to reconnect, or you’ve gotten the vasectomy more than seven years ago, the process can be more complex. In that case, a connection can be made with a still smaller tubes. Even with a more complex procedure, there is still approximately 50 to 60 percent chance of success, Brahmbatt said.
“The biggest mistake we see is that people think that they can return to all activities in a few days,” Brahmbhatt said. “But these sutures are finer than a hair. We use a microscope to do the procedure, that is how delicate it is. Any excessive effort and you can open it.”
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Once that happens, you would need to go back under the knife. Since most insurance doesn’t cover vasectomy reversals—which can run between $8,000 to $20,000 would get you out of a chunk of change.
The good news is that once you’re over the recovery period, Brahmbhatt joked that he writes a prescription for “as much sex as possible for at least two weeks.” Daily ejaculation, or with a partner or solo, helps sperm mobilized again, and accelerates the time to fertility.
With the type, the recovery is the same—that it is very easy for a week to 10 days, including icing the area, and with the aid of compression.
Six weeks after the surgery, you’ll check back in with your doctor for a semen analysis, to check to see if live sperm is present. You should try to “empty” your sperm bank at least 40 times for the first post-operative control, Brahmbhatt said.
In general, it can take up to a year until your sperm are plentiful enough to result in a pregnancy, but it can be as little as a few months. Some of Brahmbhatt the patients actually cancel the operation follow-up because their partner will become pregnant almost immediately.
“Nothing is ever 100 percent, and that also vasectomy reversals,” he said. “But I have an office wall full of baby photos of men who thought they will never father again.”
This article first appeared on the Health of Men.