Vasectomy Reversal Myths

Explore the myths and facts about vasectomy reversals and find the answers you’re looking for.


Clearing Up Vasectomy Reversal Myths and Facts

Across the United States, there is a significant disparity in terms of education and reliable knowledge on male reproductive health compared to female reproductive health. At Posterity Health, we’ve assembled a nationwide team of highly experienced male fertility specialists and reproductive urologists to help couples achieve their familybuilding goals. As such, we’re leveraging our knowledge and industry expertise to debunk vasectomy reversal myths and share actual facts about vasectomy reversals so you can make the right choice for your future. 

Myth: After a Vasectomy, Men Stop Producing Sperm

False! Regardless of whether 5, 10, or 30 years have passed since getting a vasectomy, that male will continue to make sperm unless other factors prevent sperm production. A vasectomy procedure just prevents sperm cells from getting into the semen and/or out of the body. The testes will still make sperm after a vasectomy, but those cells will die and be absorbed by the body. The ejaculate will still contain semen, but it won’t contain sperm. 

Myth: A Vasectomy is Not Reversible

This vasectomy reversal myth is false. While a vasectomy provides permanent birth control for males, the procedure can be reversed via one of two procedures: (1) a vasovasostomy or (2) a vasoepididymostomy. During a vasovasostomy, your surgeon will sew back together the cut ends of the vas deferens (also called sperm ducts). A vasoepididymostomy is performed when there is too much scar tissue to allow a vasovasostomy and is more complex as the surgeon attaches the cut vas deferens to the epididymis – the small organ at the back of each testicle. 

Myth: Success Rates for Vasectomy Reversals Are Low

While success rates can vary widely by the physician and the location, vasectomy reversals tend to be successful in 60% to 95% of cases. Success rates depend on a variety of factors including the amount of scar tissue that’s present, hormone levels at the time of the reversal, time elapsed from the vasectomy procedure, pre-existing fertility issues, and more. 

Myth: Vasectomy Reversals are Painful

This is one of the most enduring vasectomy reversal myths, and it could not be further from the truth. During your operation, you will be under general anesthesia and completely asleep, so you won’t experience any pain. You may feel some discomfort in the days following the procedure, but that pain can be quickly alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers. 

Myth: The Effects Are Immediate After a Reversal Procedure

Unfortunately, this vasectomy reversal myth is false. On average, it takes most couples without additional factors at least 3 months to successfully get pregnant after a reversal procedure. This is because males are constantly producing new sperm and it can take a few months to turn over a male’s sperm reserve. And after you’ve recovered, multiple ejaculations will be needed to ensure good flow through the newly connected tubes. 

Myth: A Vasectomy Reversal Guarantees Pregnancy

While we wish that this was a vasectomy reversal fact, it is unfortunately a myth. Infertility equally affects both males and females. If you’ve previously had a vasectomy, a reversal is a great first step on your family-building journey, but other infertility issues may exist in either or both partners that hinder your ability to successfully conceive together. 

If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, it’s a good idea for both partners to seek out fertility assessments beforehand to account for all possible outcomes. 

Myth: There are Many Significant Health Risks Associated with Vasectomy Reversals

While there are a handful of risks associated with reversing a vasectomy, they are minimal and have a low chance of occurring. However, there are always some health risks associated with any type of surgery including infection risks, bleeding, and the side effects of the anesthetic. You may also experience pain or unusual swelling in the scrotum area, but those changes do not pose much risk to your health. 

Myth: Vasectomy Reversals Cannot Work Because of Anti-Sperm Antibodies

False! Anti-sperm antibodies are the body’s natural immune response to the exposure of sperm to the body and bloodstream. After a vasectomy, anti-sperm antibodies may form in the male partner, and they do not have any known influence on their overall health. However, there is a misguided assumption that these antibodies have a negative impact on one’s ability to conceive following a reversal procedure. 

There is no evidence that suggests that anti-sperm antibodies can harm fertility after a reversal. 

Myth: All Vasectomy Reversals Have the Same Chance of Success

This is untrue because success rates are dependent on many factors, and the most significant one is the practicing physician. Just like other medical specialties, vasectomy reversal surgeons can vary drastically in terms of experience, knowledge, training, and skill, and they all achieve different success rates. For that reason, don’t assume that your procedure’s success rate will be the same from one provider to the next. 

Myth: Vasectomies Can Only Be Reversed Within 10 Years

This is false because almost all vasectomies can be reversed! Sperm is constantly being produced in men and even after 25 years, there should still be viable sperm after the vasectomy is reversed. While there may be exceptions, there is no time cutoff in which a vasectomy reversal will not work. 

Myth: Pursuing IVF is Better Than Reversing a Vasectomy

This is one of the worst vasectomy reversal myths because it is dependent upon each couple’s situation and there are pros and cons to each strategy. Vasectomy reversals are often cheaper than IVF treatments and take less time overall, but there is no 100% guarantee that the procedure will be successful. IVF can often provide quick pregnancy results but may require more than one treatment, will be more invasive for the female partner, and doesn’t always result in pregnancy after additional rounds. 

In general, vasectomy reversals are the most effective option in terms of affordability and success. 

Where Can I Get a Vasectomy Reversal? 

We have multiple male fertility clinics and can operate in plenty of surgery centers across the country. In addition, we have some of the most talented microsurgeons in the country and can book your surgery within a few weeks, for an expedited time to conception.  

Contact us today and we’ll schedule your vasectomy reversal consultation within 72 hours.