What Happens If My Vasectomy Fails?
Vasectomies are safe and effective, but on the rare occasion that your vasectomy fails or you experience a complication, what happens next?
As your vasectomy surgeon will discuss with you prior to the procedure, just as with any surgery, there are certain risks, including side effects, in having a vasectomy. These short-term side effects typically happen right after the procedure is complete, and aside from infection, which may need to be treated separately, usually wear off in a short period of time. If you have concerns about post-vasectomy complications or long-term risks, we encourage you to contact SDVC with your questions, and we’ll be happy to address each concern.
However, vasectomy failure differs from potential short-term side effects. A failed vasectomy can actually refer to a couple of different situations. Most failed vasectomies occur in the first few months to a year post-procedure, the first being “human error” on behalf of the patient. Because of this, it is important to note that even after having a vasectomy, you will still need to wait about three months for sperm to no longer be present in ejaculate.
For those who experience a pregnancy post-vasectomy, it is possible that the procedure was successful, but intercourse without protection (condoms, birth control, etc.) occurred too soon, and that is why conception took place. It is essential that you wait until you’ve received the “all clear” from your doctor, who will test for sperm in the months after the vasectomy before you engage in unprotected intercourse. Vasectomy failure due to this reason is the most common source of failure for this procedure.
Additional causes for a vasectomy failure may include an unforeseen complication or use of an inexperienced vasectomy surgeon. Patients are advised to research their vasectomy center and surgeon thoroughly in order to ensure that he or she is well experienced in performing vasectomies. For example, SDVC’s Dr. Bastuba performs 300+ vasectomies each year.
Should your vasectomy fail as a result of a complication or inexperienced surgeon, or if you are unsure as to the reason, we recommended consulting with an experienced vasectomy provider in order to determine what steps can be taken. Seeking a second opinion aside from your original doctor or surgeon is also advised.