Have you ever considered that your vasectomy could fail – even years later? Ensure you’re not one of the many men that end up fathering children unexpectedly post-vasectomy. Learn why testing semen for sperm approximately twice a year should be a part of the regimen for all vasectomized men, even those who already have the “all clear” from their doctor.
Ensure Your Semen is Sperm-Free
The decision to get a vasectomy can be a big one – and it can come with even more significant benefits. Maximize the benefits of your vasectomy by remaining attentive and testing your semen on a consistent basis.
Vasectomy Failure: The Statistics
Some significant statistics regarding vasectomy failures include:
How Common is Vasectomy Failure?
Approximately 500,000 men elect to have a vasectomy yearly, and over 5,000 of those vasectomies will fail at some point. Not all vasectomy failures will result in a pregnancy, especially when other forms of birth control are utilized.
When Does Vasectomy Failure Typically Occur?
The majority of vasectomy failures will occur within the first six months post-procedure. While these early failures are much more prevalent, there are many documented instances of vasectomies that fail years after the initial procedure.
Why Vasectomy Failures Occur
To best understand how vasectomies fail, it’s helpful first to understand how the procedure works. There are two common types of vasectomies: the standard vasectomy and the no-scalpel version.
For standard vasectomies, a doctor will make a small incision on the testes to access the tiny tubes that carry sperm to the urethra. These tubes are known as the vas deferens. During the procedure, the doctor will either cut or close these tubes so sperm can no longer exit the urethra and cause a pregnancy.
Once the vas deferens is cut or closed, the skin is stitched and is left to heal. With the no-scalpel method, a doctor will make a small puncture hole in the skin of the testes rather than an incision.
Regardless of which version of the procedure a man has, it could fail due to:
1. Residual Sperm in Semen
One common misconception is that once a man has been “snipped,” he’s immediately infertile. In actuality, it can take weeks or even months before a man’s semen is sperm-free due to residual sperm in the vas deferens.
Your doctor will likely also provide you with recommendations regarding the number of ejaculations and/or the timeframe required to clear the sperm from your semen. Adherence to physician recommendations is critical to preventing unintended pregnancies.
2. Spontaneous Recanalization of the Vas Deferens
In some cases, a spontaneous recanalization (reconnection) of the vas deferens can cause vasectomy failure. Several things can cause this reconnection.
For recanalization of the vas deferens to occur, the cut ends of the vas deferens would need to fuse back together and restore the passage for sperm to travel outside of the body. While this sounds near-impossible, recanalization can occur years after the initial vasectomy procedure, causing unexpected pregnancies. The only way to ensure that your semen is sperm-free is through regular testing.
3. Surgical Error
In rare instances, vasectomy failures are attributed to surgical errors. These errors can range from an incomplete closure of the vas deferens, cutting the wrong duct, or other mistakes during the operation.
Proper training and experience of the operating surgeon are essential to mitigate these risks. Post-operative evaluations and follow-ups are critical to ensure the procedure was successful or promptly correct any issues.
SpermCheck: Vasectomy Testing Made Easy
Vasectomy failures are rare, but if yours does fail, the consequences can be quite life-changing. Ensure your semen is sperm-free by using SpermCheck every 6 months. With SpermCheck Vasectomy, you can test your semen for the presence of sperm cells whenever you want – all from the comfort of home. Use SpermCheck for peace of mind within minutes.