DRS. OZ AND ROIZEN — Q-and-A
Outcomes good for vasectomy reversal
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
Q: I'm thinking about having a vasectomy, but what are my chances of having the procedure reversed if I change my mind later?
ญญ— Paul H., Houston
A: Every year more than 500,000 men in the U.S. and 55,000 in Canada have vasectomies. About 5 percent seek reversals later. But at Dr. Mike's Cleveland Clinic, requests for vasectomy reversals have risen 82 percent in three years, to about 10 percent of men who've had the operation.
Now if you change your mind it won't be because of the way a vasectomy makes you feel. Having your vas deferens snipped (that's the tube that carries sperm from your testicles to your urethra) won't reduce your sex drive, your ability to have an erection, orgasm or the amount you ejaculate (sperm only makes up about 5 percent of the ejaculate; the rest comes from the prostate and will continue to flow). And men frequently report that sex is more enjoyable without having to worry about an unwanted pregnancy.
When it comes to reversal, the outcomes are pretty good: If you have a reversal within three years of the vasectomy, your doc is 97 percent likely to be able to rebuild the vas channel. (Choose an experienced urologist with access to the latest microsurgery technology.) Even if it's been more than 15 years, your chances are better than 70 percent.
Ozzy Osbourne had his vasectomy reversed after wife, Sharon, changed her mind and wanted more kids! But most people ask for a reversal because they have a new partner. Men under the age of 30 are not encouraged to have vasectomies, because they're 12 times more likely to ask for a reversal down the road. So think it through carefully before you snip.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Submit your health questions at www.doctoroz.com.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.