What are the chances of a vasectomy failure?

vasectomy resized

Before the vasectomy patient can be released by the urologist to have unprotected sex, there must be two consecutive semen specimens with no sperm. It takes about 25 ejaculations to achieve this. We customarily give two specimen containers at the time of the vasectomy and recommend dropping off the specimens at approximately six and eight weeks. Dr. McHugh personally examines all of the specimens with a microscope.

After the initial clearance to proceed with unprotected sex, the chances of the the vasectomy “growing back together” is 1/2000.

In the diagram above you can see why. When Dr. McHugh performs a vasectomy a section of the vas is removed (red), both ends are cauterized (green) and then an absorbable suture (yellow) is placed on both ends as well.

The diagram above also answers another very common question about vasectomies: Does it affect the patient’s sex life?

The answer there is no. As you see, the only thing “tied off” is the vas deferens and this is where the sperm travels. Testosterone, which is responsible for the male’s sex drive, is produced in the testicle, but leaves the testicle in the blood stream not the vas deferens.

So there is a vas deferens between where the sperm exits and how the testosterone exits the testicle!