Can a vasectomy be used as a form of birth control right away?

No! You need to wait for a confirmatory semen analysis to make sure all the sperm are gone from the semen. This is usually done three months after the procedure.

While a vasectomy is an excellent form of permanent birth control (pregnancy rates are less than 1 in 100), it is not immediately effective. After the procedure is done, there are still sperm in a man’s semen. This means it cannot be used as a form of birth control right away. A semen analysis needs to be done to ensure all the sperm are gone, and this is usually ordered by a doctor for three months after the procedure was done. Once that semen analysis shows there are no living sperm, you are good to go. While waiting for a vasectomy to take effect, another form of birth control needs to be used.

Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, December 2018

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