Special Message to Men Who Have Never Caused a Pregnancy

If you have never caused a pregnancy, how do we know that you are fertile?  1% of men have no sperm in their semen (azoospermia) and a larger percentage have a low sperm count (oligospermia). The question is important for two reasons, which vary in importance depending on the age of the man considering vasectomy.

Young men (let's say, men under 35):
Young men who opt for vasectomy before fatherhood may be more likely so seek vasectomy reversal in the future than are men who choose vasectomy when they are in their 40's or 50's. If a young man who has never caused a pregnancy undergoes a vasectomy, then years later has a reversal that is "unsuccessful" (no sperm to the semen post-reversal), how do we know that he had sperm in his semen before his vasectomy? It would be nice to know this before your vasectomy in case you ever opt for a vasectomy reversal. Indeed, if you have no sperm in your semen, there is no reason for a vasectomy in the first place!

Older men (let's say, men over 35):
Nearly every man takes chances
now and then by not using contraception despite the fact that he doesn't want to cause a pregnancy. Alcohol impairs one's judgment, and couples take more risks under its influence. If a man has reached his late 30's without ever causing a pregnancy, especially if he has failed to use contraception on a number of occasions, he must begin to wonder if he is fertile and whether he even needs a vasectomy.

So for various reasons, both younger and older men who have never caused a pregnancy should have their semen checked for sperm before undergoing vasectomy. From June 2012 (when we began this testing) to April 2019, 528 men who had never caused a pregnancy agreed to provide a semen specimen prior to vasectomy. Nineteen (19) of them had no sperm. Eight were on testosterone (known to stop sperm production in some men), and one had had chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. But that left 10 (of 519) men (2%) who had no sperm, yet no reason at all to doubt their own fertility potential. One man (age 44) with no sperm in his semen was delighted that he did not need a vasectomy, but wondered aloud how much money he had wasted on condoms all those years!

If you have never caused a pregnancy, and if you live close to Tampa/Lutz and plan to have your vasectomy at our Tampa/Lutz office, please bring a semen sample prior to, or on the day of, your vasectomy. If you live far from Tampa and plan to have your vasectomy at any of our service sites, please ask us to send you a mailer so that you may send us a semen specimen before your vasectomy. If you have no sperm in your semen, you will save yourself a trip and an unnecessary operation. We would like to examine you, if convenient, and we will provide a lab request for a formal semen analysis to corroborate our findings. If you have few sperm in your semen, we may encourage you to have a formal semen analysis at a clinical lab near your home so that you will know your baseline semen parameters in the event that you ever opt for a vasectomy reversal. For men who have no sperm in their semen, it can take longer than a vasectomy to (1) have multiple examiners evaluate your specimen, (2) provide a physical exam,  (3) order a repeat test in a lab, and (4) explain the implications. For that, we charge no more than the $100 procedure deposit already paid when scheduling.

If you are not ready to schedule a vasectomy but would like to determine whether there are sperm in your semen, you may purchase a home test kit at your local pharmacy for about $40. One is called SpermCheck Fertility.