About six weeks after 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. Vasectomy reversal leads to pregnancy in about half of couples within two years.
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.
You may also be able to father a child through in vitro fertilization by using frozen sperm retrieved during your vasectomy reversal. If you didn't have sperm frozen or your frozen sperm aren't viable, in vitro fertilization may still be possible using sperm retrieved directly from your testicle with a needle.
Feb. 09, 2013
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- Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Vasectomy reversal. Fertility and Sterility. 2008;90(suppl):S78.
- Vasectomy reversal. Urology Care Foundation of the American Urological Association. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=54. Accessed Dec. 13, 2012.
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- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011:465.
- Horovitz D, et al. Vasectomy reversal provides long-term pain relief for men with the post-vasectomy pain syndrome. Journal of Urology. 2012;187:613.
- Castle EP (expert opinion). Phoenix, Ariz.: Mayo Clinic. December 20, 2012.