The number of men who want to get "unsnipped" is on the rise. But when it comes to vasectomies, is there such a thing as a do-over?
While more than 500,000 vasectomies—the procedure where tubes that transport sperm are surgically cut or sealed off—are performed annually in the US, as many as 10 percent of these men later seek reversals, Dr. Edmund Sabanegh, chair of the urology department at the Cleveland Clinic, tells MSNBC. While precise stats on the increase are not yet available, urologists are informally reporting more and more men asking for the procedure.
Vasectomy reversal was once a tricky proposition, with no guaranteed results. However, new techniques that allow surgeons to magnify miniscule glands and ducts 25 times beyond the strength of the naked eye, make it easier to re-hook or reroute male reproductive tubes. As many as 90 percent of vasectomy reversals are successful in restoring male fertility.
Is your guy considering a vasectomy reversal? Then here's some good news: your insurance may pay for it. "Insurance companies are beginning to cover vasectomy reversals because the success rate of reversals is as good—if not better—than in-vitro fertilizations (for women), in terms of live pregnancies," says Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, a male infertility specialist and urologist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. Insurance companies may also prefer the reversal procedure because it tends to cost less than multiple rounds of IVF—something that's good to know, too, if you are paying out of pocket.