After getting a vasectomy, it is essential to check your sperm count to ensure sterility. Recent research studies have reported that half of the men after getting a vasectomy do not test their sperm count and end up with unwanted pregnancies.
It is crucial to ensure that all sperm have been cleared out of vas deferens. All sperm clear in almost 25 to 30 ejaculations (1).
Vasectomy is believed to be pretty darn effective, but there is still a 1% chance of vasectomy failure. Therefore, post-vasectomy semen testing is recommended by doctors to ensure complete azoospermia. Moreover, it is important to note that it takes two to three weeks for the scrotum to heal after a vasectomy. Therefore, you should wait until the sperm count is zero to have intercourse without other forms of birth control (2).
How long until the male is sterile?
The estimated time for a male to become sterile after a vasectomy is three months. A male is considered sterile when the sperm count becomes zero (azoospermia) or the semen shows <100,000 sperm count (non-motile) (3). But this does not mean that you cannot ejaculate. You can ejaculate as before; the only difference is that your semen will not contain any sperms.
Effects of vasectomy on sexual health:
Zero sperm count should not be confused with sexual dysfunction. Even if you have zero sperm count; your sexual organs will work as normal (4).
You might feel uncomfortable in the first two to three ejaculations, but it will last only for a few days. If you feel more pain, redness, and swelling in the scrotal area, visit your doctor for advice.
What happens to sperm after a vasectomy?
The vasectomy procedure aims to be the permanent blockage of vas deferens so that sperm cannot reach the female reproductive tract (5). After getting a vasectomy, your testes will carry the sperm. Semen will still carry a few sperms, but these sperms cannot pass through the vas deferens because the body absorbs them.
People, after getting a vasectomy do not observe any changes in their ejaculate or its appearance. They also do not observe any change in their sexual function or sexual drive.
- Attar KH, Gurung P, Holden S, Peters J, Philp T. Clearance after vasectomy: Has the time come to modify the current practice? Scand J Urol Nephrol [Internet]. 2010 Apr 1;44(3):147–50. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3109/00365591003637677
- Haldar N, Cranston D, Turner E, MacKenzie I, Guillebaud J. How reliable is a vasectomy? Long-term follow-up of vasectomised men. Lancet [Internet]. 2000;356(9223):43–4. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673600024363
- Korthorst RA, Consten D, Van Roijen JH. Clearance after vasectomy with a single semen sample containing < than 100 000 immotile sperm/mL: analysis of 1073 patients. BJU Int [Internet]. 2010 Jun 1;105(11):1572–5. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.09074.x
- Edwards IS. Earlier testing after vasectomy, based on the absence of motile sperm. Fertil Steril [Internet]. 1993;59(2):431–6. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028216557069
- Lowe G. Optimizing outcomes in vasectomy: how to ensure sterility and prevent complications. Transl Androl Urol [Internet]. 2016 Apr;5(2):176–80. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27141443