One of the most common questions asked by men having a vasectomy reversal is: “how long will it take to conceive?” Many couples may become concerned when they don’t get pregnant after a few months of trying, but in most cases, it’s only a matter of time and patience can bring with it plenty of enjoyable tries on the way.
Still, months of searching for that missing blue line on negative pregnancy tests can take its toll on anyone who is longing to conceive. The most important thing to remember is that the vasectomy reversal is only the beginning of the journey to pregnancy, and having a realistic attitude can help ease the wait in a big way.
It actually takes months for the sperm count to return to normal following a vasectomy reversal. It can take three months to see sperm in the ejaculate after a vasovasostomy; and with a epididymovasostomy, which is a more complex procedure to deal with a blockage in the epididymis, it can take between six and 12 months to detect sperm in the ejaculate. And even then, it may take more time for the numbers to truly normalise.
A man’s sperm reserve turns over every three to four months. It can take one or two of these turnovers of sperm to get the numbers up to normal levels, meaning six to nine months, plus often another six months for pregnancy to result. Therefore, conceiving after a vasectomy reversal can regularly take up to a year.
Some patients hear of other couples getting pregnant in a few months or even a few weeks after the operation and begin to worry, but it should be remembered that these cases are rare exceptions to the rule.
Regular monitoring of the sperm count and motility (movement of sperm), usually every one to two months, is important after a vasectomy reversal to ensure counts are increasing to normal levels.
Once sperm numbers and motility have returned, ovulation should be more closely monitored and sex should be had at least every other day around the time of ovulation. After around six months, pregnancy should be achieved. If not, the fertility of the female partner should be checked as well.