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Undescended testicle and vasectomy question

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    My husband had a vasectomy 5 months ago. As a child he had surgery for an undescended testicle which was not successful, and which left him with quite a lot of scar tissue around the testes. His doctor was able to cut one vas but could not get to the other side. He felt that the undescended side was not producing any sperm, due to both the size of the testicle and the position it was in. He asked my husband to send in four samples post-vasectomy to make sure his ejaculate was clear. The first two had some sperm present, the last two were clear. Is there any risk (beyond the usual risk associated with a vasectomy) of my getting pregnant through production of sperm from the uncut side? We have always managed to get pregnant really quickly, within 2 months on our first two children, and on one attempt on number three, and we are definitely not in a position to have any more!

    Dr. Edward Karpman

    Undescended testicles can have very little or no sperm production depending on numerous factors including the site of arrested descent, the age of orchidopexy (bringing down the testicle) and the size of the testicle. There is often times a significant amount of scarring associated around the testicle after surgery. There is no guarantee that the undescended testicle is not producing sperm intermittently, however this is a very small probability based on the most recent semen analysis. Whether or not that sperm can get anyone pregnant is another big question that can’t easily be answered.

    The safest way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is to have the vasectomy performed on the undescended testicle with a larger incision and perhaps in the operating room. Another option is to consider removing the entire undescended testicle as it is questionably functional and does have a higher risk of developing cancer than a normally descended testicle.

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