I saw a patient recently on whom I performed a reversal around a year ago. He and his wife have not achieved pregnancy. He showed me the report of a semen analysis which showed around 50 million sperm with a motility of over 50%. Although 60-150 million sperm is considered normal, most urologists feel that any count above 20 million is suitable to achieve pregnancy. Motility should be over 45% (i.e. 45% of the sperm under the microscope are observed to be moving forward). Other parameters such as morphology (how the sperm look) are less important.
From the perspective of the surgeon who performed the procedure, any sperm in the ejaculate indicates that the reversal was successful and now it is up the the male to begin to produce the quality of sperm necessary to achieve pregnancy. As well, there is the added dynamics of the female ability to have a child. As a rule, when there is no pregnancy between a couple without the history of a vasectomy, the problem is about 50/50 male to female. The point is that even if the post reversal male has adequate sperm, pregnancy still requires other factors to be in place as well.
In the above scenario, the good sperm count and motility is a very good start and indicates a good reversal. And it makes the point about couples understanding the difference between patency (presence of sperm after a reversal) and pregnancy. There is usually a 10-15% differential between the two.
Pregnancy is a many splendored thing-Pregnancy after a reversal is a multi-factorial thing.