November 20th, 2015
One of the major advantages to vasectomy as a form of birth control is the effectiveness of the procedure. It is nearly 100% effective if performed by an experienced urologist. In fact, only 15 to 20 of every 10,000 couples will conceive in the first year after vasectomy, compared to 1,400 conceptions in every 10,000 couples that use condoms for contraception and compared to 500 pregnancies in every 10,000 couples that use an oral contraceptive pill. The failure rate is approximately 1 in every 2,000 pregnancies, which is about the same rate of failure with the more complicated tubal ligation for women.
However, it is important to realize that a vasectomy is not 100% effective in every case. Doctors who perform less than 50 vasectomy procedures per year may have a failure rate as high as 17%. In rare cases, about one in a thousand, the vas deferens will grow back together after it has been cut or an opening in one end may spontaneously occur, allowing sperm
to mix with your ejaculate. This is a rare occurrence, however.
Vasectomies are not immediately effective, either. At three months after the procedure, as many as 20 percent of men will still have sperm in their ejaculate. This means that you must use another method of birth control to prevent pregnancy until your surgeon performs an analysis of your sperm, usually 3 to 6 months after surgery. It usually takes about 15 or twenty ejaculations to clear all of the sperm from a man’s semen. When your sperm count is zero, then you can be fairly certain your vasectomy will be effective.
The type of procedure your urologist uses to perform the vasectomy may also influence the effectiveness of the procedure. Although the no-scalpel vasectomy is as effective as a traditional vasectomy, some studies show that use of a Vasclip implant to clip the vas deferens effective as other vasectomy procedures.
Most pregnancies after vasectomy occur in the first several months after the procedure, so you can increase the success of your vasectomy by remembering to use another method of birth control until you have no sperm left in your semen. Other failures are rare. Vasectomy is a safe, reliable, and cost-effective alternative for permanent birth control.
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