Over 500,000 men in the United States are opting for vasectomies annually (1). Out of this number, some 2-6% change their minds for many reasons. Natural causes like unhealthy sperm are a cause of failed procedures.
Others like scar tissue and blockages are due to tissue reaction to vasectomy or vasovasostomy procedures. One of the most common reasons for vasectomy reversal procedures is the need to sire children naturally.
The reasons a reversal procedure may fail are listed below (2).
- A poorly done procedure
- Failure to test vassal fluid before a vasovasostomy
- Low sperm quality before and after vasectomy
- Failure to notice obstruction of the epididymis
- Presence of scar tissue
- A man’s fertility issues
Here are the Options Available if a Vasectomy Reversal Fails
A Repeat Vasectomy Reversal Procedure
Simply reconnecting the vas deferens without properly examining obstructions in the epididymis can result in a failed reversal. Microsurgery is the best option to remedy the problem (3).
The reconnection of the vas deferens is done by avoiding the blockage to allow the sperm to travel out for ejaculation. The procedure is delicate and requires a skilled microsurgeon with an excellent track record in this field.
Sometimes, you may not want to undergo another procedure to fix the failed vasectomy reversal. A doctor sanctions your sperm from the testicles or vas deferens to prepare for Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
With sperm aspiration, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be used, reducing the antibodies’ effect in fighting sperm antigens. Getting pregnant is quicker or as soon as you want.
However, it can be quite costly compared to the cost of microsurgery.
If you want to avoid further procedures, IUI is a good option. It is performed on your female partner and is mainly painless and non-invasive. The doctor will use a tube to pass your sperm to the cervix during her ovulation period.
You can expect multiple babies if there was medication for inducing ovulation used.
Scarring after vasectomy and vasovasostomy procedures occur, although not in all cases. It makes it a reason for vasectomy reversal failures.
Using prednisone treatment improves the motile count for men who have suffered some sort of scarring during a vasovasostomy procedure (4). A healthy and high sperm count means higher chances of success in impregnating your female partner. It also gives IUI and IVF improved chances of success.
Remedies for a Failed Vasectomy Reversal
The above methods are used to remedy a failed vasovasostomy. It also happens that some of the methods may not be desirable or achievable to some. If the reason for a failed vasectomy reversal is infertility, for example, none of the methods can work.
In other cases, your personal choice and preference may not fall under the options here. It is possible to find a sperm donor or opt for adoption. The other important factor is considering your female partner’s fertility as it directly impacts all these methods’ success.
- Estimating the Number of Vasectomies Performed Annually in the United States: Data From the National Survey of Family Growth https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46305059_Estimating_the_Number_of_Vasectomies_Performed_Annually_in_the_United_States_Data_From_the_National_Survey_of_Family_Growth#
- WHY DO VASECTOMY REVERSALS FAIL? https://micro-reversals.com/success-rates-for-vasectomy-reversal/why-do-vasectomy-reversals-fail/
- Treatment of failed vasectomy reversal using a microsurgical two-layer anastomosis technique https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708221/
- Prednisone may improve total motile count post-vasectomy reversal https://www.urologytimes.com/view/prednisone-may-improve-total-motile-count-post-vasectomy-reversal