Five Fast Facts about Vasectomy Reversals
A vasectomy is considered a permanent method of sterilization, but is it really permanent? Between six and ten percent of men who have had vasectomies will change their minds at some point and consider a vasectomy reversal. In truth, even though in times past it was a long shot, today vasectomy reversal is extremely doable. Here are some things you might want to know about this increasingly common procedure.
- Vasectomy reversal is a largely successful outpatient procedure. When a vasectomy is performed, the surgeon reroutes or clamps the internal tubing that carries sperm from the testicles through the penis. This tube, called the vas deferens, is restored in a vasectomy reversal. Using microsurgery techniques that involve surgical microscopes and stitches finer than a human hair, the doctor re-attaches the tubing. It only takes about two hours, and the patient can usually go back to work in a day or two.
- A man’s testicles never stop making sperm. A vasectomy prevents sperm from leaving the body, but it doesn’t stop sperm production. Therefore, once the reversal is complete, normal fertility is restored. After three weeks or so of abstinence, to allow for healing, the couple can try to conceive.
- Time is a factor in vasectomy reversal success, but it may not be the biggest factor. The rates of success for a vasectomy reversal are as high as 95 percent for vasectomies done within the past 10 years. After 15 years, the success rate begins to decline, but the health of the man’s sperm and the age of the female partner are just as significant in the chances of conception.
- Fertility plays a role, even after a successful reversal. Before a man goes through a vasectomy reversal, he and his partner should be examined for fertility issues as well as overall health. Sometimes, the best option for conception is in vitro fertilization, so the doctor may recommend a sperm retrieval to increase the chances of conception.
- Insurance probably doesn’t cover the procedure. It’s important to note, before deciding to undergo a vasectomy reversal, that it’s typically not covered by insurance. Therefore, patients need to be prepared to pay out of pocket.
If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. 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 concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
New Research about Infertility is Promising
One in eight couples has trouble conceiving. Do you know how many of the cases are caused by unexplained male infertility? Nearly a quarter. For years, scientists have known that infertility can be linked to sperm that fail to throw out histones from DNA during development, but the reasons for this failure and how it happens is unclear. Now, however, that lack of clarity may be changing.
Promising new research out of Penn Medicine is showing the precise location of the retained histones and the key gene that regulates them. Researchers have also created a mouse model with a mutated version of the gene. This allows investigators to track the defects in sperm, starting with the early stages of sperm development and going through fertilization. This research could lead us to a better understanding of infertility in men, and how epigenetic mutations are passed to future generations.
What does it mean, when sperm fail to evict histones? Histones are the main proteins in chromatin. Their function is to package DNA and turn genes on and off. Healthy sperm lose about 90-95 percent of these proteins, replacing them with protamines, smaller proteins able to pack DNA into tiny sperm. When a man has unexplained infertility, the problem is often with retained histones. The sperm count can be normal, the sperm have normal motility, and yet because the histones are in the wrong location, the couple has trouble conceiving.
Until now, research has produced conflicting results about where these histones are located. Because of the confusion of discrepant data, the burden of assisted-reproductive technologies has continued to fall on women. Even if the male has the issue, the female partner goes through hormone injections and procedures to promote a higher fertility rate.
Imagine, then, if scientists were able to use epigenetic therapies to change the levels of histones and protamines in men. With this new research, scientists are better able to closely study the mechanisms behind a mutated sperm’s trajectory, which opens the door to potential therapeutic treatments. Epigenetic drugs are already being used to treat cancer and other diseases. With a clearer understanding of how a man’s epigenome affects conception and embryonic development, we have the potential to alter sperm, so these new studies may lead to a breakthrough infertility treatment.
If you’re struggling with infertility or considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. 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 concerns about their fertility. We accept major credit cards as well as cash and checks, and offer a payment plan for those who are unable to pay the entire fee at the time of surgery. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.
The Fertilization Process
If you are undergoing a vasectomy reversal in the hopes of starting a family, you may be curious about the fertilization process that has to occur before your partner becomes pregnant. This video examines the process in detail.
For fertilization to occur, the ovaries in the female must release an egg that enters the Fallopian tubes. After ejaculation, millions of sperm are released, but only a few hundred will make their way to the Fallopian tube containing the egg. When a sperm manages to enter the egg, fertilization occurs and the genetic materials are combined.
The Center for Vasectomy Reversal is committed to helping our patients overcome male infertility caused by vasectomy with vasectomy reversals in Sarasota. To find out if you are a candidate, make an appointment with Dr. Green by calling (941) 894-6428.
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