Is It Possible To Get Pregnant After Vasectomy?

Pregnancy After a Vasectomy – Is it Possible?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rima Sonpal (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

A vasectomy is one of the most effective ways to prevent a pregnancy; it is basically a permanent birth control solution for men. It is reported that post the male partner having a vasectomy, a couple has a less than 1% chance of getting pregnant – but are there any loopholes at all, by which the couple can conceive a child? Find out!

What Is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical intervention that involves tying off the reproductive tubes of a man. In other words, the vas deferens are tied off and severed, thus hampering the sperm from reaching the egg. This is not a temporary form of birth control but a permanent one.

The recovery period in the case of a vasectomy is quite short – most men can resume routine activities in just 2 or 3 days, and physical activity in 3 to 7 days.

What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant After Having a Vasectomy?

As discussed above, a vasectomy is a permanent method of birth control and is considered to be one of the best ways to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. However, just the way all other birth control methods do not have a 100 per cent success rate, having a vasectomy doesn’t guarantee that a couple cannot become pregnant. This means there may be a possibility of the woman getting pregnant even if the husband has undergone a vasectomy. Here’s the good news though – the chances of getting pregnant after a vasectomy are extremely less. It is observed that in the first year after surgery, the chances of pregnancy maybe 1 in 1000 and this may increase from 2 to 10 in the next five years after the surgery.


How Can a Couple Get Pregnant After a Partner Has Had a Vasectomy?

There are no surefire ways to make a man or a woman sterile; therefore, it is possible that a woman may get pregnant after her partner has had a vasectomy. Here are a few ways how this can happen.

1. Having sexual intercourse before the man’s sperm count is confirmed to be zero

Even if a man has had a vasectomy, the sperms may still be present in the semen for up to 2 to 3 months. If a couple has unprotected sex during this time, they may face the possibility of becoming pregnant. Therefore, in the case where pregnancy needs to be avoided, the doctor may recommend the man to undergo sperm analysis to confirm the sperm count to be zero, before he can have unprotected sex with his partner.

2. Vasectomy reversal

If a couple wishes to conceive after the male partner has had a vasectomy, he can go for reversal surgery. The surgical procedure is performed under anaesthesia, and the vas deferens is reconnected. The vasectomy reversal surgery may bring back the sperm into the semen.

3. Recanalisation (natural reversal)

Sometimes, natural reversal or recanalisation may occur, when the sperms are able to escape from the microscopic channels that may be present at the cut end of the vas deferens. These channels may form due to some medical complications such as sperm granuloma and other such conditions. Usually, the doctor will be able to establish this problem while doing the post-semen analysis after the vasectomy, and it may only be present in less than one per cent of the cases. However, in rare cases, which are 1 in 4000, late recanalisation may occur too.

4. Surgical errors

Sometimes, a vasectomy may fail due to surgical errors. In case there is a surgical error, it may increase the couple’s odds of pregnancy after the male partner has had a vasectomy. While this is a very rare phenomenon and may seldom happen, it also is the reason to go for a post-semen analysis to establish the success of the vasectomy. Therefore, it is very important that the surgery is done by an expert in the field.

A vasectomy is one of the most preferred forms of birth controls, and it also has a very high success rate. However, as discussed above, no form of birth control is a hundred per cent safe. Therefore, in case you want to know more about your options on birth control, you should get in touch with your doctor. Also, if you and your partner wish to have a baby after the vasectomy surgery, it may be possible too. You should get in touch with your doctor and find out about the various ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant after the vasectomy.

Also Read: Stopping Birth Control & Its Effects on Conceiving

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