Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. So what is the effectiveness of a vasectomy?
During a vasectomy, the vas deferens from each testicle is clamped, cut, or otherwise sealed and prevents the release of sperm when a man ejaculates. A vasectomy is considered a permanent method of birth control and is the most effective birth control for men.
How effective is a vasectomy?
With a success rate of 99.85%, it means that only 1 to 2 women out of 1,000 will have an unplanned pregnancy in the first year after their partners have had a vasectomy.
But while the overall failure rate for a vasectomy is at 0.15 percent, this is still not a completely accurate depiction of a vasectomy’s true effectiveness. In fact, most vasectomy failures happen during the first couple of months after the procedure, before the sperm count had dropped to zero. With live sperm still present in the semen, you must use another method of birth control until the sperm count is confirmed to be zero. Unfortunately, some men skip to confirm this and end up regretting it.
Remember: your partner can still become pregnant until your sperm count has dropped to zero – you must use another method of birth control for the next few months after your vasectomy.
So essentially, a vasectomy is not effective immediately. Sperm remains beyond the blocked tubes and it usually takes about three months for this to be ejaculated or reabsorbed. A simple test — semen analysis — shows whether your sperm count has dropped to zero and most men go back to the doctor’s office to have their sperm count checked.
What happens to sperm after a vasectomy?
After a vasectomy, the testicles continue to produce sperm, but the sperm is reabsorbed by the body. This always happens to sperm that is not ejaculated after a while whether you have had a vasectomy or not. This is the same way the body handles cells that disintegrate, die and are replaced every day.
A vasectomy does not change your hormones and will not inhibit your sex drive, ability to have erections or to ejaculate. Your semen will look completely normal and there will be about the same amount as before.
Vasectomy effectiveness with Metrocentre’s Dr Lekich
If you are considering going down the route of permanent birth control, Dr Lekich is one of Australia’s most experienced vasectomy microsurgeons. Contact our friendly clinic coordinator to arrange a confidential consultation and find out your options.