• Does age impact vasectomy reversal success?

    Man looking into vasectomy reversals.

    Modern Vasectomy Reversals

    Vasectomy reversal used to be a long shot, but in recent decades, technological advancements have made it a much more effective procedure. With the advent of microsurgical techniques, the success rate of this intricate procedure has risen significantly. In the 1970s and 80s, a vasectomy reversal could be expected to succeed, returning sperm to the semen, in about 79 to 88 percent of cases. By 2004, that success rate had climbed to between 94 and 97 percent. Many men worry, though, that their age will impact their chances of regaining fertility. Let’s take a look at the question of whether age impacts vasectomy reversal success.

    Men’s Age and Overall Fertility

    More and more, people are waiting to start a family. This can be a concern for women, whose fertility begins to decline in their 30s, but men’s fertility declines at a slower rate. Then, too, age-related health concerns can affect men, impeding both their fertility and their odds of successful vasectomy reversal. The good news? Age does not seem to have an impact on the procedure itself. As long as a man is healthy enough for a surgical procedure, his chances of a successful vasectomy reversal are good. In fact, recent research analyzing the results of 3,000 men over 50 and 350 men under 50 determined that the age of the man was not a significant factor in the success of the procedure. The researchers concluded that men over 50 should consider vasectomy reversal a viable option.

    Which Factors Impact the Success of the Procedure?

    While age is not an independent factor, certain elements can impact the chances of success. Smoking decreases the odds of successful vasectomy reversal, and men with older partners were less likely to conceive. Surgery in the groin area, including hernia surgery, can also decrease the likelihood of successful reversal. The most important factor, however, was the time elapsed since the vasectomy. Often, men have vasectomies when they’re young, and then change their minds and want to restore their fertility when they’re older. Studies done in years past have indicated that the longer a man waits after his initial surgery, the lower the chances of a successful reversal. However, newer research, using modern techniques, has shown that the success rates are about the same for reversals done within 15 years of the original vasectomy, regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed within those 15 years. After 15 years, however, the success rates dropped significantly, going as low as 44 percent.

    Why is Time a Factor?

    As time passes after a vasectomy, pressure can build between the vas deferens and the epididymis. When a vasectomy reversal is performed, this pressure can require the surgeon to perform a more complex, less reliable procedure. The most common type of vasectomy reversal is a vasovasostomy, which is straightforward, just reconnecting the previously severed vas deferens, and has a success rate of over 90 percent. When there is increased pressure or blockage, the surgeon may need to pivot to a more complicated technique known as a vasoepididymostomy, which involves locating and alleviating the blockage from the epididymis. An experienced surgeon can still accomplish a successful reversal, so speak to your doctor if you have concerns.

    Center for Vasectomy Reversal Cares About Men’s Health

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, men’s health is our priority. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their health and fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Dr. Green and his team provide state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. Having had extensive training in urology, microsurgery, and vasectomy reversal, Dr. Green founded the Center for Vasectomy Reversal to provide the highest level of patient care while delivering optimal surgical results. To learn more about how our experienced team can help you reach your reproductive goals, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Should you manage your children’s screen time?

    Parents watching kids while they’re on their tablet.

    The Omnipresence of Screens

    Everywhere we go, everything we do in our modern lives, screens are ubiquitous. Computers, televisions, tablets, and smartphones are everywhere, and most of us spend hours of our days staring at screens. We’ve long known this is not healthy for growing brains but, for most parents, the pandemic derailed our efforts to keep screentime under control. Having gotten into the habit of bigger kids doing school online and little kids being entertained with tablets, limiting screentime has become a vague and complicated effort. It is time, though to retake control and manage our children’s screen time.

    What’s So Bad About Screen Time?

    Really, what’s the big deal? After all, modern technology has many benefits, often delivered through screens! Screens provide educational opportunities to kids, help them learn about current events, expose them to new information, and allow them to connect with friends and family members. They can collaborate with other students on school assignments and projects, and find support when they need it by accessing online support networks. However, despite these benefits, screen time poses definite risks to children and adolescents. Too much screen time can hinder the development of a child’s brain, because children need human interaction and experiences in nature. Children who have too much screen time may not build the language, cognitive, and social skills they need to succeed in life. To develop these skills, they need to read, practice problem-solving in the natural environment, engage in artistic pursuits, and interact with their peers and adults. Spending too much time in front of screens negatively affects a child’s attention span and ability to regulate emotions. What’s more, children who are continually entertained by screens miss out on the benefits of boredom. Being bored provides kids with opportunities to be creative, develop self-sufficiency, and learn to solve their own problems. Screen time can limit children’s physical activity and disrupt their sleep, leading to compromised physical health. Worse, unrestricted access to screens opens opportunities for children to be exposed to content that is inappropriate for their age level and, in some cases, unsafe.

    How Much is Too Much?

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the following guidelines apply to daily screen time for children.

    • No screen time for children under 6 months.
    • No screen time for kids 18 to 24 months, unless they are video chatting or co-playing with parents.
    • One hour or less of screentime for kids aged two to five, and that hour should be high-quality, educational content.
    • Over six, personal time limits should be established to ensure that kids get the right amount of exercise, sleep, and time for other activities. In general, there should be no more than two hours of non-educational screen time in any given day.

    How to Make it Happen

    Let’s face it, limiting screen time is hard. If your children are used to having free rein in this area, you are going to get some resistance when you try to set limits. Here are some tips that might help you accomplish this herculean task.

    • Put your own screens down. If you are consistently scrolling or binge-watching, it’s going to be hard to convince your kids not to follow suit. Make a point to engage in other activities, either as a family or on your own, including reading, hobbies, and being active. Establish “screen-free” times, when everyone in the family puts away their devices.
    • Keep screens out of the hands of little ones. You can delay the screen addiction by keeping screens away from young children as long as possible. This can be tough, because there’s a temptation to use screens to entertain them in tricky situations, but it’s best to avoid the electronic babysitter.
    • Be clear and firm with screen time rules. Even if you are getting pushback- (and you’re likely to get pushback)- remain consistent in asserting and enforcing screen time limits. Make sure everyone, including both parents, grandparents, babysitters, and anyone else who will be in charge at some point, is clear on the rules.
    • Make screen alternatives fun! Play with your kids! Go to the park or just go outside and play with sidewalk chalk or bubbles. Play hide and seek, read books together, or draw silly pictures. Play board games, do arts and crafts, put together puzzles, or teach your kids a new skill, like photography or gardening. Build pillow forts, create indoor obstacle courses, or have a dance party. You can also tuck a few toys and games away to introduce as something new during screen-free time. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but just a few ideas to get you thinking about all the screen-free ways you can interact with your children, or get them doing something fun on their own.
    • Remember, it’s all about balance. Screens themselves are not inherently good or bad. Use them wisely, to help kids learn new things, or to give them something to work towards, as they earn screen time by doing chores or accomplishing goals. Aim to create a healthy balance for all members of your family, so that everyone can be happier and healthier.

    Support for Your Family as it Grows

    Balance is an important part of growing as a family. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Tips for Step Parenting

    Step dad hanging out with step son.

    Blending a Family

    After the loss of a spouse, through death or divorce, finding a new partner is exciting! Just as exciting, but more cause for anxiety, is the blending of two different lives. Being a parent is challenging; being a stepparent is even more difficult. Even if you weren’t warring with the established and widespread “evil stepparent” tropes, you would still be stepping into an intimate role with a young person who may not be inclined to accept you unconditionally. Fortunately, there are some guidelines you can follow as a stepparent to help create a positive and healthy relationship between you and your stepchildren.

    Tips for Step Parenting

    • Ease into a relationship. Even if you feel thrown into the role of parent, remember that you are not the primary parent, and shouldn’t pretend to be. Never forget that your partner and stepchild have a bond that was formed long before you came on the scene. This doesn’t mean you will never play an important role in the child’s life, as an important parental figure, but it does mean that you should refrain from coming on too strong, instead letting the child set the pace for getting to know each other. Most of the time, if you are patient, showing interest in them while giving them time to warm up to you, children will give you a chance.
    • Don’t try to be the cool parent. It’s not a competition. You’re not competing with your partner and, more importantly, you’re not competing with the ex. Don’t let your insecurity or ego cause you to overstep and try to ingratiate yourself with the children, making them want or need you more than the original parent. Children see through this sort of thing, and it will cause conflicts between the adults.
    • Don’t let existing familial bonds make you feel threatened. You and your partner are creating a new family, but the old family had a history before you came into the picture. Accept this, integrating the past into the present by asking occasional questions in an interested way. Move forward, while respecting what came before, without trying to upstage it. Additionally, encourage your stepchild to spend one-on-one time with each of their biological parents. This sends a message that you are not in competition, and you just want everyone to be truly happy.
    • Prioritize the needs of the child. We all have big feelings sometimes, but as a parent, it’s important that you focus on the children’s feelings rather than your own. Aim for selflessness in your interactions, setting high standards for your own coping skills. This doesn’t mean that your emotional needs are not important, but it’s up to you to make sure they are met in appropriate ways. Take time for yourself, to socialize, exercise, and generally practice self-care, and when you are interacting with the child it will be easier to put your emotions on the back burner. Don’t take it personally if your stepchild doesn’t seem to be taking to you. Remember that the child needs to mourn the loss of the original family.
    • Know how to respond to hostility. Will your stepchild yell at you that you are not his or her real parent? It is incredibly likely. Knowing this, take the time to prepare your response. Don’t try to argue, but acknowledge the truth of the statement. Tell the children that while you are not their biological parent, you are a stepparent who loves them. Responding to hostility with a calm, loving response is a great way to defuse it. If it doesn’t? Take a deep breath and move on.
    • Get on the same page with the other parents. This means discussing parenting techniques, methods, and philosophies with your spouse, but it also means addressing these things with the other biological parent. When all the parents are in accord on how things should be done, it makes parenting easier for everyone.
    • Talk it out. Regularly touch base with each other as a family, setting aside family time in which everyone can share how they’re feeling. Ask the kids to be honest, sharing positive and negative feedback, so that you can make your family stronger and better.
    • Create routines to build strong family bonds. Spend one-on-one time with your stepchild, doing something together once or twice a week. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, it can be something as simple as cooking together, as long as you have time to share, listen, and bond. Establish routines as a family, too, like game night, special celebrations on birthdays and minor holidays, and regular family meals. Time together can help the family bond and become more united.
    • Keep your expectations in check. You are unlikely to step into a child’s life and immediately have a strong bond, and you can’t force it by trying too hard. By the same token, you are not likely to be accepted as an authority figure if you over-discipline to try to establish your authority. Take it easy, avoid overstepping your bounds, and keep your expectations realistic. It’s ok, you will eventually develop a relationship, and you can have a happy, healthy, blended family.

    Growing into a Family, Together

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Understanding Your Newborn’s Language

    Father talking to his newborn baby.

    Communicating with Your Newborn

    Babies cry, everyone knows that. What you might not realize until you become a parent, though, is that different cries mean different things. Because it’s an ability they’re born with, babies use crying to communicate their needs, and part of your job is to try to figure out exactly what those needs may be. Don’t worry! In any new relationship, it takes a while to get to know the person and understand his or her style of communication. It’s no different with your new little one, and you will get the hang of it before you know it.

    What Does Baby Need?

    Babies cry because they are hungry, need a diaper change, are uncomfortable, or are in pain. They also cry when they’re overwhelmed by all the stimuli in this brand-new world, so be a little bit patient when you are trying to figure out the issue. Paying attention to other signals, like facial expressions and body movements, can help you get to know your baby better and understand what he or she is trying to say. Some people also find it helpful to begin teaching baby sign language around six months old, just to provide another communication tool.

    Connecting with Your Baby

    As you try to determine what your little one is communicating, use it as an opportunity to bond. Don’t just communicate when little one is fussy, either. Watch how your baby responds to your voice, your touch, and your body language. Talk to your baby as much as you can, while you are playing, during diaper changes and feedings, and when you are just relaxing and getting to know each other. Talking to babies is important, because it makes them feel safe and helps them develop language skills. Always respond to your baby’s cries, to offer reassurance as well as comfort. Knowing that you will meet their needs helps babies grow into secure people.

    When Will Your Baby Talk?

    Of course, communication becomes easier when children learn to talk. This will happen in stages, as baby begins to babble and coo, then make sounds that sound like words, before they actually begin to engage in coherent speech. They understand earlier than they can talk, though, and most babies know what the word “no” means by about six months of age. You can reasonably expect your child to say his or her first work around the first birthday.

    Should I Be Worried?

    Like every other element of a baby’s development, speech evolves differently for different babies. If your little one isn’t hitting every milestone “by the book,” don’t be alarmed. However, talk to your doctor if your baby won’t stop crying, or the crying seems strange, or it is accompanied by other signs that something could be wrong. If your baby doesn’t react to loud sounds by five months of age or isn’t making different sounds by that time, talk to your pediatrician. It may not be anything to worry about, but it’s always good to make sure everything is proceeding normally as you learn to communicate with your baby.

    Happy Families Start at Center for Vasectomy Reversal

    Communication is the key to any successful relationship, and learning to communicate with your children is a big part of building a happy family! At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.