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What Happens to Sperm Count After a Vasectomy?

Marjorie McAtee
By Marjorie McAtee
Updated May 17, 2024
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Sperm count after a vasectomy normally declines gradually until, several weeks to three months later, sperm are no longer present in the semen. It may be necessary to measure a man's sperm count after a vasectomy more than once to ensure that the procedure is a success. While a vasectomy is generally considered a minor outpatient procedure, the procedure to reverse it is often far more complex. When performed successfully, a vasectomy renders a man unable to father children.

The vasectomy procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, using a local anesthetic. The procedure normally involves severing the tube through which sperm pass out of the testicles, known as the vas deferens. Most men are able to remain conscious during the procedure, and are able to return to their normal routine within three days to one week. Any swelling or bruising that accompanies the procedure normally heals within two weeks.

While this procedure is minimally invasive and generally without risk of serious complication, men who have it will, ideally, no longer be able to father children. While the vasectomy procedure has been known to reverse itself and restore the patient's fertility, cases in which the vas deferens heals back to together are rare. Men normally retain all sexual function following the procedure, including the ability to reach orgasm and ejaculate. Doctors typically measure sperm count after a vasectomy at least once, to ensure that no sperm can be found in the semen.

The first sperm count after a vasectomy is usually taken six to eight weeks following the procedure. Some men may continue to ejaculate semen for up to three months following the procedure. The procedure is generally considered a success once no sperm are found in the semen.

This procedure is not generally not recommended for men who may want to father children at some point in the future. The surgical reversal of a vasectomy is possible, but it is normally a far more complicated procedure, with far more serious risks. Vasectomy reversal doesn't always work, especially if a number of years have elapsed since the vasectomy. Many physicians prefer not to perform vasectomy on younger men, men who have not yet had children, or single men, out of a concern that these patients might later change their minds.

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