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Age isn't a factor in the success of a vasectomy reversal, study finds

Experts say pregnancy is just as likely for older and younger men following the procedure

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Photo (c) Shidlovski - Getty Images
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California found that men’s age doesn’t play a role in the success of pregnancy following a vasectomy reversal. 

The researchers found that men over 50 were just as likely as men under 50 to have success getting a partner pregnant after a vasectomy reversal, which is promising news for those looking to start a family later in life.

“These results are exciting for men looking to start families later in life who have had a vasectomy,” said researcher Dr. Mary Samplaski. “This research is especially timely because anecdotally, fertility doctors are seeing an increase in the number of men interested in vasectomy reversals as couples focus on family planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Waiting to have kids is a reality

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 3,000 men over the age of 50 and 350 men under the age of 50 who had vasectomy reversal surgery. The researchers kept in touch with the men to determine how many of the procedures had resulted in successful pregnancies. 

While age was certainly one of the biggest variables the researchers looked at, they also assessed the age of the participants’ female partners, the men’s smoking status, and how much time had passed since the original vasectomy procedure. In taking all of these factors into consideration, the researchers learned that men’s age at the time of a vasectomy reversal doesn’t play a role in the likelihood of their partner getting pregnant. 

“When we did a statistical analysis, and examined all these other factors involved, the data showed that age had no bearing on success,” said Dr. Samplaski. “Male age was not an independent factor.” 

Other factors make a difference

While age wasn’t an issue when it came to pregnancy success, the researchers learned that all of the other factors that they looked into did play a role. Smoking, having a female partner over the age of 35, and having the original vasectomy procedure 10 or more years prior to the reversal procedure all hindered the chances of pregnancy for men over the age of 50.

Ultimately, the researchers hope that men over 50 aren’t discouraged. They explained that with proper family planning, a successful pregnancy following a vasectomy reversal is incredibly likely. 

“The bottom line is, men over 50 can have successful outcomes in achieving pregnancy after a vasectomy reversal, and it should be a considered a very viable option,” Dr. Samplaski said. 

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