The successful return of sperm and ability to achieve a pregnancy is dependent on several factors:

  • The use of a surgical microscope results in a higher success rate when compared to the use of specialized surgical glasses (loupes) alone.
  • The time since vasectomy has a major impact on your overall likelihood for success. For example, if a vasectomy reversal is performed within 3 years of the original vasectomy, there is a >95 percent chance of having a return of sperm. However, if the reversal is performed >15 years after the initial vasectomy, the success rate may decline to only >70 percent. There is no time point at which a vasectomy reversal can no longer be performed.
  • The age of the female partner or any factors which may impair her fertility may reduce the likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy.

About three months after your surgery, your doctor will examine your semen under a microscope to see if the operation was successful. To collect a semen sample, your doctor will have you masturbate and ejaculate into a container.

Your doctor may want to check your semen every two to three months. Unless you get your partner pregnant, checking your semen for sperm is the only way to tell if your vasectomy reversal was a success.

When a vasectomy reversal is successful, sperm usually appear in the semen after a few months, but it can sometimes take a year or more. When successful, vasectomy reversal usually leads to pregnancy within two years. The likelihood for success depends on various factors, including the length of time which passed since the vasectomy and the female partner's age.

If vasectomy reversal doesn't work

Vasectomy reversals sometimes fail if there is a sperm blockage that wasn't recognized during surgery, or if a blockage develops sometime after surgery. Some men have a second-attempt vasectomy reversal surgery if the procedure doesn't work the first time.

Aug. 07, 2014