If you or your partner has had or is planning a vasectomy reversal, supporting healing afterwards is important to restoring male fertility and reproductive health.
Today, vasectomies are a popular form of birth control for men. A vasectomy is less invasive than tubal ligation in a woman and allows the man to gain control over whether he fathers any children. As many as 500,000 men undergo vasectomies each year as a permanent solution for birth control. Yet, up to 10% of men who have a vasectomy later decide to reverse the procedure.
Whatever your circumstance, we know this is a challenging time, and we are here to support you through the transition.
What is a Vasectomy Reversal?
A vasectomy reversal uses microsurgical techniques to reattach the cut vas deferens. This allows them to carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra, allowing for normal sperm release during ejaculation. A vasectomy reversal is more complicated than a vasectomy, usually requiring general anesthesia, but is widely performed with good results.
Note: Pregnancy rates are the highest when the reversal is done sooner after the vasectomy. However, there is still a 30% pregnancy rate when a reversal is performed 15 years after a vasectomy.
There are two types of reversals:
1. Vasovasostomy: If your surgeon finds sperm in the fluid from the vas tube end nearest to the testis, he/she will then reattach the vas deferens as before. This approach is effective for around 85 out of 100 men.
2. Vasoepididymostomy: If there is no sperm present in the vasal fluid, your surgeon will bypass the blockage and connect the vas deferens to the epididymis (in the back of the testicles) instead. While slightly more time consuming and complicated, the effectiveness of this procedure is nearly the same as for the vasovasostomy.
In some cases, a vasovasostomy may be performed on one side and vasoepididymostomy on the other.
Healing After A Vasectomy Reversal
For your first day after the procedure, your doctor will suggest bed rest and to apply ice packs to the testicles or use pain medication to relieve any discomfort. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions! The testicles are very sensitive at this time. Any excess physical strain could cause complications. Do not lift anything heavy and just generally take it easy. In an uncomplicated procedure, you should be able to resume normal sexual activity after about 4 weeks.
Here are a few other steps to take to promote an easy recovery and return to fertility:
1. Eat a Male Fertility Diet. The Male Fertility Diet guide explains in detail the benefits of a balanced diet. This way of eating will help the body heal. Eat plenty of high-quality protein foods like organic poultry, wild seafood, beans or legumes. Include fresh salads and Fertility Smoothies every day for high enzymes and antioxidants, which reduce inflammation. Try to avoid foods known to cause inflammation in the body—foods like highly-processed foods, refined flour, saturated fats/refined oils/fried foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners like those in soda, alcohol, and caffeine.
2. Use liver cleansing herbs. Healthy fertility involves a healthy liver. Help it clear drug residues post-procedure. Milk thistle seed (Silybum marianum) extract, Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) and Burdock root (Arctium lappa) are all good choices to give your liver some TLC and accelerate your healing. For milk thistle seed extract: add 30 drops to 3 oz. water and drink 2 times a day. For dandelion root or burdock root tea: aim for 2 cups daily for 2-3 weeks.
3. Focus on vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C encourages collagen rebuilding after surgery and is a critical antioxidant for sperm health and fertility. Good vitamin C sources to include are dark greens, papaya, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
3. Consider Systemic Enzyme Therapy. Systemic Enzyme Therapy is great post-surgery to help the body fight inflammation and promote normal tissue health. Systemic enzymes can even help normalize scar tissue or adhesions. Use systemic enzymes (like Fertilica Choice EnzymesTM) on an empty stomach as directed for the best results.
4. Support healthy circulation. Healthy circulation is critical for male sexuality and reproductive health. A strong circulatory system promotes easier erections and intercourse for men. Once your doctor signs off, resume regular exercise for strong blood flow and try circulation-promoting herbs like Cayenne, Ginger and Turmeric. Just add a few pinches of the herbs of your choice to healthy drinks or recipes. Note: These herbs are spicy! Use them to your taste.
5. Consider male fertility herbs. Supportive male fertility herbs like Ginkgo (Gingko Biloba), Maca (Lepidium meyenii), Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) and American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolis) for ongoing support. Fertility herbs for men help in numerous important ways during vasectomy reversal recovery. They:
- promote healthy circulation
- improve endurance and energy
- fight stress reactions
- boost libido
6. Consider Mayan Abdominal Massage: Fertility Massage isn’t just for women. Mayan abdominal massage techniques encourage the movement of energy, increase circulation and alleviate stress for men. Once your healing is underway (this takes about 4 weeks), find a practitioner to work with. Learn more here: Men, Increase Your Chances of Conception With Massage!
Experience Renewed Male Fertility
While many men who have vasectomies are happy with the results, not all are. Some men experience discomfort, complications or have emotional issues related to the procedure. Further, many men experience a renewed interest in having children and ultimately decide a reversal is their best option.
If you’re planning or have had a vasectomy reversal, natural therapies can encourage a faster recovery and return to fertility. It may take some time before your sperm count returns to normal. Work with your urologist with sperm analysis every few months to see how it’s going or until your partner becomes pregnant.
- Vasectomy Reversal. (2017). Georgia Urology. Retrieved from: https://www.gaurology.com/condition/vasectomy-reversal?
- What is a vasectomy reversal? (2017). Urology Health. Retrieved from: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/vasectomy-reversal
- Vasectomy Reversal. (2017). WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/vasectomy-reversal-vasovasostomy