A good reason why you shouldn’t have a vasectomy.

“It can be reversed, right?”

Well, yes. However, just because you can reverse a vasectomy, doesn’t mean that you will achieve pregnancy.

I have done several thousand vasectomies and  several hundred microscopic vasectomy reversals, so…here are some things to consider “before” you decide to have a vasectomy.

  • We tell patients that they should consider a vasectomy permanent and it is…and it isn’t. It can be reversed but it doing so may or may not result in pregnancy.
  • A reversal is not covered by insurance and costs range between $3,000- $15,000.
  • It is a surgery, there will be an incision on the scrotal area that has to heal and there may or may not be time out of work or cessation of physical activities for a few weeks.
  • If it works, i.e. the opening is reconnected and sperm begins to flow again in the ejaculate, there may not be numbers or quality enough to achieve pregnancy.
  • It is a patient endeavor as it takes 3-6 months for the testicles to begin producing sperm again normally and if pregnancy occurs it usually does between 6-18 months.
  • The longer the period between the vasectomy and the reversal, the lower the chances of success.  Click here for success rates based on the vasectomy interval.
  • One must visualize how it would feel to have gone through the surgery, the recovery, and the expense only to be on the side of the percentages where pregnancy does not occur.

So…you don’t want to have a vasectomy unless you are pretty darn sure you don’t want to have any more children. An option is to bank sperm before the vasectomy. This costs about $200 a year.

Conclusion: If you think there is any possibility that you might want to have more children do not have vasectomy. Depending on a reversal, even in the best scenario of surgeon and time interval from the vasectomy, is a risky endeavor.

On the flip side: If you have had a vasectomy, the chances of achieving pregnancy is essentially zero.  In this setting having a reversal is very reasonable as any chance at pregnancy with a reversal is better than no chance. This is the reasoning most couples have when deciding to pursue a reversal.