Don’t Call It A Vasectomy Fail If You’re Too Lazy To ‘Man Sample’ In A Cup

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I am so afraid of a vasectomy fail that it’s not even funny. My husband continues to reassure me that the odds are in our favor—the advertised success rate is more than 99%. I like those odds, I like ’em a lot. But why do I keep hearing all of these worst-case scenario vasectomy fail stories?

I recently got into a conversation with several awesome Mommyish readers who told me about their own real-life brushes with vasectomy failure to scare the pants off (or on) me. Even though I was shaking in my boots and scared to ever let my husband touch me again without using 10 extra methods of birth control, there was a silver lining to the story.

AugustW said:

In class our teacher discussed the myriad ways a doctor can mess up a vasectomy. It’s scary! I guess once you are in there, the vans deferens looks like pretty much everything else in the. It’s really easy to snip something else, call it a day, and leave a dude’s baby making abilities totally intact. That’s why it’s so very important that he comes back for his follow up sperm count!!!

Ah… so many of these vasectomy horror stories (though certainly not all) could possibly be coming from lazy dudes who didn’t follow doctor’s orders. I found a little more information on

A 2004 study by the CDC estimated a probability of 11 pregnancies per 1,000 vasectomies, principally due to non-compliance with follow-up semen analyses.

My husband got the final all-clear from his doctor several months after the initial procedure was done. He is also kind enough to go back of his own volition for another annual semen test just to double and triple check that he is all clear at the one year mark—which is right around the corner.

Here’s what I’m taking away from all of this. Sure, I’m nervous about the “one in a million” chance that I could get pregnant post-vasectomy, even after following doctor’s orders. If that happens, my husband and I are going to consider it fate and try to roll with the punches. (Gulp!)

But after reading about how many men failed to come in for a post-vasectomy sperm test, I’m skeptical about some of the anecdotes I hear. If you’re too lazy to deposit your baby batter in a cup and send it back to the lab, it doesn’t count as a vasectomy fail.