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.
At Gentle Procedures 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 vasectomy procedure that Gentle Procedures Clinic is known for.
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.