Last month, we published a post emphasizing the importance of using contraception even after a vasectomy, as patients are NOT completely sterile immediately following the procedure. Because “a series of follow-up tests is required to first confirm that sperm are no longer present in the patient’s semen,” using some form of birth control in the first few months post-surgery is strongly advised.
However, a study conducted within the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) found that over half of the study’s couples (57.8%) did NOT use secondary contraception after undergoing a vasectomy postpartum. All couples had recently given birth and had reported a partner vasectomy four months following the live birth. Conducted in 15 states and New York City, the study assessed both the election of post-vasectomy birth control and the method of birth control used.
Essentially, this means that the 57.8% of couples who chose not to use secondary contraception relied solely on the vasectomy itself as their birth control method. Of the remaining 42.4% who opted for secondary contraception, 50% used condoms, 26.5% used oral contraceptive pills, and 9.5% chose the withdrawal method.
Based on these results, it seems that doctors and clinics need to better communicate to patients the necessity of secondary contraception in the months immediately following a vasectomy. In order to reduce the chance of unintended pregnancy, it is also important to understand the complexities surrounding why some couples choose not to use secondary contraception, despite being advised to.
For more info on our vasectomy procedures, please refer to our FAQ page or schedule an Easy VasectomyⓇ consultation.