Why do you wait 3-4 months to check for sperm atfter a vasectomy reversal?

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  • The time from the vasectomy to the reversal is one of the most important factors in the reversal’s success.
  • The longer the interval the more effect of the vasectomy obstructing the natural course of things in the testicle has on sperm quality.
  • Determining how much negative effect has occurred as result of the vasectomy on the quality and quantity is variable and usually based on the time interval.
  • Assuming that because a vasectomy can potentially “shut down” production of normal sperm, the testicles, after a reversal, have to readjust and begin to produce sperm again.
  • The chart above shows the maturation of sperm in the testicle.
  • This process usually takes about three months.
  • So, if the testicles have stopped producing sperm and the obstruction of the vasectomy is corrected by the reversal, then it would take about three months for normal sperm to complete the maturation process and be seen in the ejaculate.
  • So this is why many reversal doctors tell their patients not to consider submitting a specimen for the presence of sperm after a reversal for at least 3-4 months.
  • It you submit a specimen at three months and there are no sperm, that is disappointing, but in many patients it may take up to a year for the testicles to resume their normal activity.
  • I have had patients with no sperm in the ejaculate at six months and achieved pregnancy at one year.

2 thoughts on “Why do you wait 3-4 months to check for sperm atfter a vasectomy reversal?”

  1. Hi,

    What if after vasovasostomy there is no sperm at 3-4 months and it may be due to obstruction in epididymys? Is there any way this will clear with time? We jave been also told after the reversal that tubes were narrow.

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    1. No sperm after 3-4 months can mean the potential of several things. One that the vasovasostomy scarred and is not open. Two that the VV is open but that the testicles have not starting producing sperm as this takes from 3-6 months to do. (I had a patient with no sperm at 6 months who then announced pregnancy at one year.) Finally that the epididymis does have an obstruction and sperm is not getting to the VV opening.
      Advice: If you are at 4 months I’d give it more time as the time for the testicles to get back up to speed varies. I hope this helps. JM

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