I had a vasectomy eight years ago and have just learned that my 40-year-old wife is pregnant. She has not had sexual relations with another man, you’ll have to take our word on this. I just had a sperm analysis and the result indicated motive sperm and a count of greater than 25″. Generally speaking, do you know if “greater than 25″ could mean 10 million greater, or just a few greater? I am trying to determine if this is a one-in-10,000 baby or a one-in-a-bazilion baby, not that it really matters, I’m just curious as to how things happened.
Background: My vasectomy was done at a teaching hospital with at least a couple of dozen students present. The doctor informed me that his technique was very aggressive and there was very little or no chance of successful reversal, so I had to be sure. I recall the doctor explaining that he was removing a full inch of the vas tube. I cannot recall if I had a post-vas sperm analysis, but my wife and I always conceived very easily. We had four children in five years, the first almost certainly conceived the first night we had sex without contraceptive. The second was conceived while she was breastfeeding. We used condoms and the pill between children, and she got pregnant the third and fourth times immediately upon cessation of birth control. I’m relaying this information because there were no pregnancies or miscarriages in the eight years after my vasectomy.
Last question: what procedure do you recommend next? We really ought to stop having kids after this one.Dr. Edward Karpman
Unfortunately, a vasectomy can fail on very rare occasions. Your case emphasizes the importance of obtaining a semen analysis after the vasectomy to confirm sterility and prior to having unprotected intercourse. The fact that you do have sperm present in the ejaculate further supports the fact that your your vas deferens is patent on at least one side. The success rate of vasectomy is 99.7% and you represent the 0.3% of men who either have an unsuccessful vasectomy procedure or the vas deferens has managed to grow back together.
Removing a long segment of vas deferens is sometimes inadequate. This is why most doctors performing a vasectomy will also occlude both ends of the vas deferens with either clips or suture ligature and cauterize the ends. A semen analysis with greater than 25 likely represents more than 25 million sperm/ml, which is essentially a normal sperm density based on World Health Organization (WHO) criteria.
The vasectomy procedure can be redone with greater care taken to ensure that both ends of the vas deferens are occluded.
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