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While it is rare, it is possible for a vasectomy to “reverse” itself, but not in the way you might think.

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting or sealing the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra. This prevents sperm from being ejaculated during sexual intercourse, making the person sterile.

In some cases, the body can create new channels or openings that allow sperm to bypass the blocked portion of the vas deferens, which can result in pregnancy. This is known as recanalization, and it can happen in about 1 in 1,000 vasectomy cases. Recanalization can occur months or even years after the initial procedure, so it’s important to continue using other forms of birth control until a semen analysis confirms that the vasectomy was successful.

However, it’s important to note that recanalization is not the same as the vasectomy reversing itself. Once the vas deferens is cut or sealed, it is highly unlikely for it to spontaneously heal and reconnect. If a man wishes to have his fertility restored after a vasectomy, he may opt for a surgical procedure called a vasectomy reversal, which reconnects the severed ends of the vas deferens. This is generally a more complex and expensive procedure than a vasectomy, and it is not always successful.