Chris had a vasectomy while in a previous marriage, and now he and Tammy want children. They have decided to proceed with a vasectomy reversal, assuming that it will be successful and they will get the family they dream of. But Chris is wondering what is involved, and is not looking forward to it.
Can We Get Pregnant After a Vasectomy Reversal?
- A vasectomy reversal reconnects the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles into the semen
- With current techniques sperm returns to the semen in approximately 71 to 97% of men
- Approximately 50% of couples subsequently achieve a pregnancy
- The longer time between vasectomy and reversal the less successful the outcome
When a vasectomy is done the vas deferens tubes are cut so sperm cannot get into the semen. This procedure is done for birth control. A reversal reconnects these tubes. It is very delicate microsurgery and should be done by an experienced surgeon.
How successful is a vasectomy reversal? With the current techniques it can be up to 97% successful. Success means that sperm is again present in the semen. That is only part of the equation.
But how many couples actually have a successful pregnancy after this procedure? Approximately 50%. The average time from reversal surgery to conception is 12 months. Studies indicate that pregnancies after reversal surgery can occur from one month to 82 months after reversal surgery. Most pregnancies occur within 24 months.
Your best chance of success is to have the reversal within 3 years of of the vasectomy. If it is more than 15 years, the chance of sperm returning is only 71% with a 30% pregnancy rate. The statistics for the time between 3 years and 15 years fall between these extremes.
Since the best case results in a 50% pregnancy rate, it would be to your advantage to do everything possible to make sure you are in the successful half. This applies to both the man and the woman. One of the most important factors is to have an excellent fertility diet while you are trying to conceive (and throughout the pregnancy, of course!). This includes the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K2) and plenty of minerals. The absolute best sources are healthy animal products and organic vegetables. This includes shellfish and foods from grass-fed animals such as eggs, butter, meat and organ meat.
It is worth your time and effort to seek out high quality foods that support your fertility.
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, DO