Sex and Vasectomy

executive summary
Is it possible to reverse a vasectomy? I have one and am with a new partner I'd like to have a child with.

hot facts
  • Can you reverse a vasectomy?
  • Having a child after a vasectomy

Vasectomy Reversal

Ask the Sexpert

Sex and Vasectomy

Dear Dr. Kat,

I had a vasectomy years ago and now I am with a new partner who I'd like to have a child with. Is it reversible?


Dear Reader,

Yes, many times a vasectomy reversal is possible. It does very much depend on the individual patient and the type of procedure he originally received. For instance was the vas deferens simply cut and tied, or was a section of it removed and the ends cauterized? There seems to be some variance in success with the reversal procedure based on this. Initial research has also suggested that if the vasectomy occurred over 10 years ago that the reversal procedure has a lower success rate. Although, some doctors claim they have reversed vasectomies of over 40 years in age. Keep in mind that even though there are cases where sperm returns to the ejaculate within two months after the reversal, it may take up to 12 months to report a stable semen analysis test result and thusly a resulting pregnancy.

Of the 500,000 men who have vasectomies each year, about 2-6% eventually pursue a reversal. This surgery reconnects the vas deferens tubes that carry sperm from the testicles into the semen. However, before doing the reversal your doctor will want to know if you can produce healthy sperm. A previous pregnancy is sometimes proof enough. Otherwise, a testicular biopsy will need to be done. Your female partner may also need to go through a battery of tests to rule out any fertility problems on her end. Undoing a vasectomy is considerably more expensive than the original procedure. It can cost anywhere from $5,000-$12,000 or more and most insurances do not cover it.

The bigger question here is have you and your partner gone through a comprehensive decision process to make this decision? Have you both also considered the likelihood that the reversal may not be successful? Take the time to ponder these issues together then find a reputable doctor.


~ Dr. Kathleen Van Kirk