Is it possible to reverse a vasectomy?

Fifty million American men have gone under the knife to have a vasectomy. But what happens if you change your mind?

We recently received this question from Pete in North Carolina:

Dear Dr. Manny,
My wife and I have been thinking we might want to have another child, but I got a vasectomy two years ago. Can I undo it?

The procedure is intended to provide permanent sterility, and it’s effective about 99 percent of the time.

However, it does not inhibit your body’s ability to make sperm – so it is possible to reverse it.

A vasectomy reversal reconnects the vas deferens, or tubes which were cut during your original procedure. It’s usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.

Success rates depend on the method of the original vasectomy and the amount of time that has passed before having it reversed.

Current data shows that men who reversed it within three years had a 95 percent success rate of becoming fertile again, while men who waited 15 years saw about a 70 percent success rate of reversal.

You should check with the surgeon who performed your original vasectomy procedure because he or she can make a suggestion based on your personal medical history.

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