You might have reached an age when you and your partner are deciding that you don’t want any more children – or maybe you never did. Whatever your reason, a vasectomy is an easy procedure that can prevent your sperm from fertilizing the egg of your female partner. The doctor does this by cutting the vas deferens, preventing the sperm from being able to travel to the egg. Sometimes, however, it’s not 100% effective. A small percentage of vasectomies can actually fail.
While a vasectomy is far more reliable than any other birth control method, like the pill or condoms, it is also a more permanent option. It can be reversed, but it would require another procedure, so it is important to keep that in mind. It would, however, save money in the long run considering the cost of birth control pills, condoms, etc. It is also significantly easier than the women’s equivalent – tubal ligation. This would require a major surgery for a woman to tie off her fallopian tubes. Again, this is in order to prevent the sperm from getting to the egg.
When a man ejaculates, the semen is released into the woman’s body. This semen contains the active sperm that swims to fertilize the egg. After a vasectomy, however, the semen that is ejaculated should ideally not contain any sperm anymore, making it impossible to impregnate a woman. During the procedure, your doctor would cut the vas deferens, the tube in which the sperm travels to the semen, blocking their path. The procedure is considered a failure when the doctor missed cutting the vas deferens, a second one grows, or in rare cases: when sperm continues to live in your semen for weeks and even months after vasectomy.
After a vasectomy, your doctor will propose a series of checkups to evaluate the presence of sperm in your semen. This can be done up until 3 months post-procedure or until you’ve successfully had 20 ejaculations. During this post-procedure time, it is advised that you use a backup birth control method, like a condom, to prevent pregnancy until your doctor has cleared you for unprotected sex. If your doctor does continue to find that sperm is present in your semen tests, they might recommend a second procedure. This is the case in less than one percent of vasectomies, though.
If you are considering getting a vasectomy or have questions about your vasectomy that suspect might have failed, speak to the experts at Ironwood Urology. It is even possible to have a vasectomy reversal and reconnect the vas deferens, for those who change their mind. Dr. Avila is here to help with years of expertise and to help you learn your options. Call (480) 961-2323 today to schedule your consultation.