A vasectomy doesn’t stop the production of sperm – it stops sperm from being included in the semen you ejaculate. So what happens to the sperm that’s still being produced?
Whether you know it or not, your testicles are a sperm factory set up to produce sperm throughout your life time.
How Sperm Is Made?
A man’s testicles are full of tiny coiled tubes (called seminiferous tubules) that not only produce sperm but help move it through your system. Inside the tubes are sperm nurse cells which manage sperm stem cells. Sounds pretty crowded down there, right?
The tubes are surrounded by testosterone-producing cells that stimulate sperm development by impacting the nurse cells, which in turn control the sperm stem cells. The sperm factory produces sperm cells on a schedule to make sure production will last a lifetime.
It takes about 70 days for your sperm to be developed and ready for action. But that’s what we’re trying to avoid – not the action, but the outcome from it.
Once the sperm is developed, it needs some help to be able to make the big swim to the egg. Before it passes into the tubes (vas deferens) that carry it to the ejaculation point, it goes through a duct that adds proteins to improve it’s performance. Now it’s ready to go.
A vasectomy stops the sperm cell in it’s tracks. (See the before & after pictures below.) Vasectomy blocks the vas deferens which makes it impossible for the sperm to travel to the urethra. That’s where it mixes with seminal fluid and gets ejaculated during orgasm.
The best part of vasectomy is that you still get the orgasm, just without the risk of a pregnancy.
But if the body keeps producing sperm, where it does it go once the tubes are cut?
Sperm After Vasectomy
While your sperm is maturing, it’s stored in a tightly coiled tube – literally 15 to 18 feet long – called the epididymis. This is where sperm is transferred to the vas deferens and heads off to do it’s part in fertilizing an egg.
Once you have a vasectomy, the sperm can no longer move out of the tube. The membrane (lining) of the epididymis absorbs most of the sperm where it dissolves. It’s a natural part of the body’s process.
Most every man goes through times when sex is less available or orgasm is harder to achieve. Your body is producing sperm during those times too. So sperm production doesn’t really cause a problem.
But can it be if you’re having sex on a regular basis? We don’t think so, but as a man ages, the testicles age as well. As in any factory, the sperm machinery can start to operate less efficiently. So here at the Pollock Clinics, we use an open-ended vasectomy technique. The open-ended technique leaves the bottom end of the vas tube open (uncauterized), while the end of the tube leading to the penis is cauterized.
In other words, open-ended vasectomy may offer a vehicle for sperm drainage after vasectomy.
While studies are not conclusive, it is postulated that leaving one end open may permit sperm to leak out. For men having a vasectomy, this can mean less post-operative discomfort because there is no sudden pressure back-up to the testicles. Clearly if the path to the penis is blocked, there’s no risk of fertilizing eggs by accident.
Instead of relying solely on the membrane in the epididymis, sperm are simply reabsorbed back into the testicles in a natural process that causes no pain or pressure. Open ended vasectomy is part of the no scalpel, no needle vasectomy procedure that Pollock Clinics are known for worldwide.
Before & After Vasectomy
The images below show how sperm is carried from the testicles to the urethra, where it becomes part of the ejaculate during orgasm. The after image demonstrates how the vas deferens are blocked to the penis, but remain open-ended on the bottom.
By Jack Chang|2018-04-06T12:22:31-07:00July 18th, 2017|Vasectomy|Comments Off on Where Does Sperm Go After Vasectomy?
Jack Chang, MD, is a graduate of Yale University and the University of British Columbia Medical School. After completing his postgraduate training in Prince George, BC, he started his career serving rural and remote communities in BC, Yukon, and Nunavut before joining Pollock Clinics in 2014. Dr. Chang is a veteran of multiple No-Scalpel Vasectomy International (NSVI) medical missions, providing free vasectomies in developing countries such as Haiti, Kenya, and the Philippines to alleviate poverty through family planning. Dr. Chang also trains international physicians from around the world as part of the NSVI missions. He performs circumcisions using both the Pollock Technique™ and the Shang Ring technique. Dr Chang trained in China with the developers of the Shang Ring method and directed the licensing of the Shang Ring through Health Canada and performed the first case of Shang Ring circumcision in Canada. He continues to lead the introduction of this adult circumcision method in North America. He is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and is actively involved in teaching medical students and residents.