Can I Get Pregnant After My Husband Had a Vasectomy?

by Maggie McCormick
You can get pregnant after your husband has had a vasectomy.

You can get pregnant after your husband has had a vasectomy.

Some women long to have a baby after their husbands have had a vasectomy, while others are surprised to find themselves pregnant despite the vasectomy. Getting a vasectomy is a long-term and often permanent birth control solution for men. It allows him to be spontaneous when it comes to sex in a monogamous relationship, but it does not protect against STDs. In some cases, it is possible to become pregnant after your husband has a vasectomy.

How a Vasectomy Works

A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure. The surgeon will search for your husband's vas deferens -- the tube that carries the sperm from the testes, where sperm is made, to the prostate gland and seminal vesicles, where they enter the semen -- and then stop the flow of sperm. She might do this by sewing the tube or by scarring it to prevent travel. Your husband will still ejaculate, but there will be no sperm present in his ejaculate.

Soon After the Procedure

For about three months after the procedure, it's still possible to become pregnant. Sperm that traveled through the vas deferens prior to the vasectomy can still enter the semen. Your chances of getting pregnant during this time period are lower than they normally would be, but they are still present. If you are using the vasectomy as a birth control method, you should wait until a test from the doctor's office confirms that there is no sperm left in his semen.

Long-Term Results

Once your husband's semen has been verified as sperm-free by the doctor, you run a relatively low chance of getting pregnant. According to WebMD, there is about a 1 in 2,000 chance of a man's body healing itself after a vasectomy and becoming fertile again. This is more reliable than female sterilization, where you have a 1 in 100 chance of becoming pregnant again.

Vasectomy Reversal

If your husband has had a vasectomy in the past and you've now decided that you want children, he can undergo a vasectomy reversal. In this procedure, a surgeon will reattach the vas deferens, so that the sperm can again travel to the semen. Unfortunately, there is only about a 50 percent chance of success, according to MayoClinic.com.

Considerations

A vasectomy is an uncomfortable and potentially permanent birth control solution. If you think that there is even a chance that you'll want to become pregnant in the future, you should ask your husband to postpone the operation.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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