Can Your Partner Get Pregnant After a Vasectomy?

Early image of an ultrasound next to a positive pregnancy test

If you are researching a vasectomy, you probably already know it is the most effective and least invasive surgical procedure couples can pursue when they no longer wish to have children but want to continue their active sex life.

A vasectomy is straightforward. It is not uncommon, in fact, to hear that some urologists have performed the surgery on themselves. However, one point of concern is if there is any chance that they can get their partner pregnant after a vasectomy. Before we delve into why, the answer is yes, it’s possible but rare.

Let’s talk about how sperm is delivered. Sperm is created in the testes and transported to the urethra through two tubes known as the vas deferens. After a vasectomy, during which the vas deferens are cut and sealed, ejaculation still occurs, but there is no longer sperm in the semen.

However, there are three ways that sperm can be ejaculated, even after a vasectomy:

  1. The vasectomy can be and most often is successful. However, residual sperm is still left in the semen for some time. By some estimates, it takes over 20 ejaculations before all the sperm has been removed. As such, Dr. Kapadia recommends that anyone who has had a vasectomy use contraception for the three months after the procedure. At this point, we will take a sample of your semen to ensure that there is no live sperm.
  2. There are ways in which the vasectomy procedure can fail as well. Employing a very experienced vasectomy specialist like Dr. Kapadia can avoid problems such as cutting the wrong structure or cutting the same vas deferens twice. On rare occasions, there may be a third vas deferens, but this is something we do not see very often.
  3. Lastly, it is also possible that the vas deferens regrows over time. The body is an amazingly adaptable machine and can reform a pathway for the sperm that again re-joins with the urethra. This is known as recanalization.

How Permanent Is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is meant to be a permanent contraceptive technique for men who do not wish to have children in the future. However, about 10% of our patients decide that they want to have children again at some point in the future. Dr. Kapadia specializes in microsurgical vasectomy reversals. These intricate but very successful procedures reattach the vas deferens and allow the sperm to be ejaculated normally.

Whether you are looking for a vasectomy or even a vasectomy reversal, we encourage you to contact Dr. Kapadia to schedule a consultation and learn more about the options available to you, as well as discuss the potential success rates of either procedure.

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