Post Vasectomy Semen Testing: Making Sure Elvis has left the Building
Vasectomy does not work immediately so you must use backup birth control until we do the test and declare your semen free of sperm. The top half of the vas, and the seminal vesicles next to the prostate, can harbor holdout sperm in nooks and crannies for weeks, and occasionally months. That’s why using another birth control method is essential until we do a semen check at the lab and ensure that there are no sperm left in the ejaculate.
We do a test at 12 weeks and, if necessary, a double check at 16 weeks. If your test results are clear you can safely stop backup birth control and enjoy sex ‘au naturel.’
Call your closest lab a few days ahead and book a date and time that’s convenient for you to bring in the semen sample, at body temperature, within 30 minutes of collection. You don’t need to run any red lights.
I will have you attend the office to discuss your test results. This gives us another chance to meet face to face and discuss any lingering concerns you may have about anything and to collect your prize for having successfully failed the test. I can’t tell you what the prize is. It’s a surprise.
If the first test shows that you still have sperm we don’t rush in to do another vasectomy. We just stall for time. Most guys will ‘come clean’ within another four weeks but the occasional “diehard” will take longer, up to six months.
A Failed Vasectomy: The persistence of any live sperm six months out from the vasectomy indicates that the little devils have managed to ‘break on through to the other side.’ In this practice, over 20 years and 8000 vasectomies, that happens less than once in every 500 vasectomies. If this happens to you, remember, it’s your superhuman sperm, not my shaky hands or failing eyesight that’s responsible, so don’t expect a contribution to the college fund from me!
Even if you’re clear at 12 weeks, there is still a small chance of re-cannalization (a.k.a. failure) later down the road. This happens less than 1 in 2000 cases. This is over a hundred times safer than most of the other standard birth control methods, making vasectomy the most effective method of birth control available. If you’re paranoid about re-cannalization for any reason, we can do another semen test at any time, but it’s not considered necessary. Remember, nothing in life is 100%, except death. (Not everybody pays taxes, y’know!)
All kidding aside, you and your partner need to read the patient information section of this site carefully and ensure that all your questions are answered before you have a vasectomy.