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Vasectomy failure?

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  • Retired account

    My husband had a vasectomy in late December 06. The Dr. said he should be tested at 8 weeks but he didn’t get in with the sample until 12 weeks or so. We were told the sample didn’t need to be fresh and so it was likely more than 8 hours old before it was analyzed. After the semen test the nurse called and said the results were “negative” which she confirmed meant the vasectomy was successful. No other tests were recommended or even suggested. It now appears that I am pregnant and probably ovulated 5 or 6 days before the 6 month mark after the vasectomy.We followed up according to the Dr.’s suggestion. Where did we go wrong?

    Dr. Edward Karpman

    A vasectomy failure is a rare occurrence and some of our best data show this to be around 0.7%. More commonly, we will see persistent rare sperm which eventually leads to re-canalization. Re-canalization is less common when the ejaculate shows no sperm, especially at 12 weeks after the vasectomy. This is why most physicians performing a vasectomy will usually check at least two semen samples prior to giving clearance to the patient to have unprotected intercourse.

    Nevertheless, a vasectomy can reverse itself spontaneously, but only on a rare occasion. The first step is to confirm whether or not your husband is sterile by performing a pelleted semen analysis. Sperm in the ejaculate can be missed if a pelleted sample is not performed.

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