Is pregnancy possible after vasectomy?

It is not common for a pregnancy to occur after vasectomy, although it does occur in 1% of cases. It is vital to be well informed both for the surgery to be effective and to reverse its effects, if it is the case.

Last update: June 11, 2021

The most common is that after vasectomy there is permanent infertility. In other words, this surgery should result in sterilization in a man and therefore eliminate any chance that it will impregnate a woman at least naturally.

However, there are circumstances in which a pregnancy may occur after vasectomy. This usually occurs when not enough time is allowed between the time of surgery and having sex.

On the other hand, although the common thing is that this type of surgery leads to definitive sterilization, the truth is that it also there are techniques that allow to reverse this condition. Therefore, there is always the possibility of pregnancy after vasectomy.

What happens during a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a surgery that, in theory, eliminates the possibility of fertilizing a woman. "

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure that is almost always performed to create permanent male sterilization. This surgery blocks the vas deferens to prevent the passage of sperm.

Typically, each testicle produces sperm. These are stored in the epididymis, a tube that is attached to each of the gonads. If a man ejaculates, the sperm leave there and reach the vas deferens.

In these ducts, they mix with a fluid called seminal fluid.. This is how semen is formed, which then travels through the urethra and eventually reaches the outside through the penis. When the vas deferens are cut, the sperm no longer reach there.

As a consequence of the above, after vasectomy there are no more sperm in the semen. When the man ejaculates, the seminal fluid gushes out, but this no longer contains the reproductive cells. The body continues to produce sperm, but it reabsorbs them and they do not reach the outside.

What are the chances of getting pregnant after a vasectomy?

The most common is that after vasectomy a man can no longer impregnate a woman. However, there is a small percentage of cases in which pregnancy occurs. It is estimated that the failure occurs in one in 1 100 patients who have undergone this surgery.

Therefore, vasectomy is considered effective in 99% of cases. In any case, and to avoid unwanted pregnancies, it is best to follow medical indications and have regular control. Why can this method fail? Let's see.

You may also be interested: What are the contraceptive methods for men?

Why can it happen?

There are several reasons why pregnancy occurs after a vasectomy. The effects of the surgery are not immediate. For this reason, doctors advise continuing to use a contraceptive method for three months after the procedure.

After that time, the doctor should do a semen analysis to check for live sperm within this fluid. If all is well, the man will be able to have sex without the use of an additional contraceptive method.

However, It is also possible that several years after the vasectomy, a pregnancy may occur. It is very rare for this to happen, but it can happen. It is because one of the vas deferens was not cut completely or because an additional conduit is present.

Also there are cases in which the vas deferens grow back after vasectomy and end up reconnecting or recanalizing. This occurs naturally and is very rare.

Vasectomy reversal

Vasectomy is a process that can be reversed with a second surgery.

Achieving a pregnancy after vasectomy is also possible through a reversal of surgery. The procedure is called a vasovasostomy and involves reattaching the ends of the vas deferens that had been cut.

However, this surgery is complex. For one thing, it takes two hours or more; on the other, it is not always successful: its efficiency is 64%. Many times the quality of the semen is not good or, at least, not good enough for fertilization to take place. It is also possible that the ducts will not be able to join.

Ineffectiveness increases in proportion to the number of years that have passed after vasectomy. If it is less than five years, the chances are good. If more time has passed, the probability begins to decrease.

There are other options for achieving pregnancy after vasectomy:

  • Vasoepididymostomy. It is a surgery to join the ends of the vas deferens with the epididymis. The procedure is very complex and is only successful in 40% of cases.
  • Sperm aspiration. The sperm are aspirated from the epididymis using a low-complexity surgical procedure. With the liquid obtained, an egg is fertilized in the laboratory and then implanted in the woman's uterus.
  • Testicular biopsy. A portion of the testicle is removed to remove the sperm and perform a fertilization and implantation procedure, as in the "sperm aspiration" method.

Discover: What is sexual and reproductive control?

Pregnancy after vasectomy is possible, but rare

Pregnancy after vasectomy is very rare, but there are rare circumstances in which it does occur. For the same, it is important to continue with medical follow-up, especially during the three months after surgery.

Although there are methods to reverse vasectomy, there are no guarantees that these will work. As it is a procedure that generates permanent infertility, it is best to inform yourself well before making the decision to carry it out.

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