A vasectomy can provide peace of mind if you and your partner have finished having children. A vasectomy is an extremely common and safe male sterilisation procedure. This day surgery procedure is considered a permanent form of birth control, so careful consideration needs to be entered into before embarking.
Vasectomy does not affect a man’s ability to perform sexually, and unlike female methods of birth control, does not require the use of hormones or repeat procedures.
Following discussion with Dr Symons, the decision on how to proceed will depend on several factors:
As a general principal, if the vasectomy was less than 20 years ago, the current partner is less than 35 years old, and there is a desire for more than one child, vasectomy reversal may be a better approach than assisted conception.
Years Since Vasectomy
3 – 8
9 – 14
15 – 19
A vasectomy reversal, performed under general anaesthesia, involves making a small incision and then carefully dissecting through the tissue where the previous operation was performed. Once health tissue is identified, a high powered operating microscopic with 30-40x magnification is used to join these two ends together with sutures nearly invisible to the human eye. This restores the normal flow of sperm through the tube, ready to rejoin the ejaculate
A microsurgical vasectomy reversal is an excellent way to restore fertility for men who have previously had a vasectomy. Dr Symons appreciates that circumstances in life may change, and that with a new partner the restoration of fertility may be extremely important.
Dr Symons is experienced in both vasectomy & its reversal. A vasectomy is a day case procedure that involves the interruption of the supply of sperm, made in the testicle, to the prostate, which produces much of the semen. Dr Symons strongly councils his patients that vasectomy needs to be viewed as a permanent form of male contraception. Nevertheless, around 5-6% of men who have previously undergone a vasectomy will seek reversal.
For a man wishing to start a new family, there are decisions to be made between vasectomy reversal or consideration of assisted reproductive techniques. For couples choosing assisted conception, both the male and female partner will need to undergo procedures – surgical sperm retrieval for the male and surgical egg retrieval for the female partner, often after drug stimulation of her ovulation. On average, the success rate of assisted conception is ~ 30% – 40%, though other factors such as partners’s age & health may also have an affect.