How A Vasectomy Can Fail

Think a vasectomy is a surefire solution to prevent pregnancy? Not for this couple. Mary and Jay had two children, whom they affectionately referred to as Number One and Number Done, when they decided it would be best for Jay to have a vasectomy, a surgical procedure for sterility for a man that is considered permanent and has a 99% success rate. Two months after the procedure, Jay had lab tests done, and he was given the all clear to consider the vasectomy a permanent form of birth control.

Six months later, Mary learned she was pregnant.

“When I found out my wife was pregnant eight months after a successful vasectomy, immediately we were on the phone with a urologist, and I’m getting rechecked,” Jay says. “It took about a week, and then I got the results: ‘I’m sorry Mr. Newman, you are sterile.’” He says his wife, who he has been with for 14 years, has never lied to him, and he had no reason to think she had been unfaithful.

Mary says she called the doctor’s office asking if they could examine her husband to determine how she became pregnant if he is sterile. “She said, ‘No. Something like this doesn’t normally happen unless someone else is involved,’” Mary recalls. “I hung up the phone and I’m thinking, I think I was just accused of infidelity.”

In the video above from The Doctors, board-certified urologist and male reproductive medicine specialist Dr. Aaron Spitz explains how a vasectomy is done -- and how it could potentially fail.