Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Reversing a vasectomy

3-minute read

This page will give you information about reversing a vasectomy. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.

What is reversing a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is meant to be a permanent method of male contraception. Reversing a vasectomy is a procedure to rejoin the tubes that were cut during a vasectomy.

The procedure can fail, even if the tubes are rejoined.

What are the benefits of surgery?

The aim of rejoining the tubes is to allow sperm to mix with your semen, making you fertile again.

Illustration showing a bilateral vasectomy.
After a bilateral vasectomy.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

You may want to consider using donor sperm, either from someone you know or from a sperm bank.

It is possible for your doctor to take sperm from one of your testicles using a needle (sperm aspiration). This can be used in IVF treatment.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes an hour to 90 minutes.

Your surgeon will usually make 2 cuts on each side of your scrotum.

They will examine each testicle before finding and freeing up the tubes, and removing any scar tissue. Your surgeon will use an operating microscope to stitch the ends of the tubes back together.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • pain
  • infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • bleeding

Specific complications

  • long-term pain in your testicles
  • reduced sperm count over time

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

You should be able to return to work after about a week.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Your doctor will ask you to give a sample of your semen after 6 to 8 weeks. The sample will be tested to find out if there are any sperm. If there are no sperm, it is unlikely that the operation will be a success.

If the operation fails and you and your partner still want a baby, you should discuss the alternatives with your doctor.

Summary

Reversing a vasectomy is an operation to rejoin the tubes that carry sperm from your testicles. It may make you fertile again.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

For more on how this information was prepared, click here.

Last reviewed: September 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Vasectomy reversals: get the facts | Marie Stopes Vasectomy

At Marie Stopes we like all of our patients to consider their vasectomy as a permanent procedure. We don't generally recommend vasectomy reversal as a viable option for most men, as it can be very expensive and there is no guarantee of the reversal's success.

Read more on Marie Stopes Australia website

Vasectomy and vasectomy reversal | Andrology Australia

Vasectomy is a surgical operation to make a man unable to father children. It is a very effective, safe and permanent form of contraception.

Read more on Andrology Australia website

Vasectomy | Marie Stopes Australia

Vasectomy is the only permanent method of contraception currently available to men.

Read more on Marie Stopes Australia website

Vasectomy (Video) | myVMC

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which the vas deferens is cut, rendering a male infertile

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Vasectomy What To Expect | Marie Stopes Australia

Watch a video or read a transcript about vasectomy what to expect and how to prepare for a vasectomy procedure and service at a Marie Stopes vasectomy clinic.

Read more on Marie Stopes Australia website

Vasectomy vs Condoms | Marie Stopes Vasectomy

When it comes to finances, the choice between condoms and a vasectomy seems pretty obvious. Well it might be time to think again, because not only is a vasectomy far more effective at preventing pregnancy it also turns out to be a lot more affordable over your lifetime.

Read more on Marie Stopes Australia website

Vasectomy vs Tubal ligation | Marie Stopes Vasectomy

If youre looking into sterilisation options, it can be a tough choice between his and hers; vasectomy vs tubal ligation. Both options are permanent and have similar levels of efficacy, but its also worth considering costs, complications and recovery time before making a final decision.

Read more on Marie Stopes Australia website

Vasectomy | myVMC

Vasectomyis a surgical procedure for male sterilisation. It involves severing the vas deferens and blocking or tying one or both of the severed ends. This effectively blocks the path by which sperm leave the testes, and therefore makes a man permanently sterile.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Permanent Contraception For Men | Marie Stopes Australia

Find out whats involved in permanent contraception for men. Vasectomy is a method for men who have completed their family or decided not to have children. It is a cost-effective, simple, painless procedure that liberates men and couples from the burden of routine contraception methods like The Pill.

Read more on Marie Stopes Australia website

Other men's health issues | Andrology Australia

Other men's health issues Research shows that there are strong links between men's reproductive health and general health. Erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of heart disease and men with diabetes have a greater chance of having sexual or reproductive health problems than ot...

Read more on Andrology Australia website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo