The sperm count analysis test seeks to verify and establish the viability of sperm in a man. Semen refers to the fluid released after an ejaculation, usually containing protein and sugar compounds. The post-vasectomy sperm test is done to verify whether sperm is still present after a vasectomy procedure. 

This is because sterilization doesn’t occur immediately after the procedure1. It could take up to two months for the sperm to be removed entirely from the semen. A semen analysis test is done to measure:

  • The shape of sperm
  • Number of sperm
  • Sperm motility or movement

Semen Testing

Doctors usually perform two or three tests to get a rough idea of how the sperm is behaving. It is recommended that the tests are spaced out across a minimum of seven days within two months or more2. This is because sperm count could differ depending on the day of testing. For men who undergo a vasectomy procedure, their sperm needs to be thoroughly tested to establish when they can stop using the other types of contraception. 

Vasectomy is regarded as a very effective contraception method, but there is a significant risk of failure, especially during the period after it’s done. Therefore, you must make your doctor’s PSVA appointment to keep tabs on the condition of your sperm. In general, the two tests are performed at least 16 weeks after the surgery.

What to Expect 

Some patients could opt to have the test done earlier, but that would require two or more additional tests to yield satisfactory results. Some vasectomy specialists perform only one test to verify the success of the procedure. It is advisable to consult with your doctor to get further clarity on this matter.

The vasectomy procedure involves the cutting and sealing the seminal vesicles to prevent sperm from entering the semen from the testes. It is a permanent procedure that is regarded as a formidable form of birth control. After the vasectomy, you should visit your doctor at least once a month until they can assure you that your semen is free of sperm. This usually takes up to three months.

Preparing for Semen Analysis

Your doctor will give you clear instructions to guide you in preparing for the post-vasectomy sperm test. You should make sure you follow these guidelines for more accurate test results. To help you get a proper sample3:

  • Do not ejaculate for about one to three days before getting tested.
  • Avoid any herbal medicines such as echinacea
  • Alcohol, recreational drugs, and caffeine should not be taken for about two to five days before getting the semen analysis test
  • Stay away from meds that might interfere with hormone function  
  • Let your doctor know of any medications that you might be taking before the test

Post Vasectomy Sperm Test

A fully conclusive semen analysis requires that you provide multiple samples coupled with careful collection to avoid contamination or compromise. This is the only way to ensure that vasectomy is a success, a green light to resuming normal sexual function in no time.

Links to Sources Used: 

  1. Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis https://www.cambridge-ivf.org.uk/patients/andrology-services/post-vasectomy-semen-analysis-pvsa
  2. Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis https://www.nuh.nhs.uk/post-vasectomy-semen-analysis/
  3. Semen post-vasectomy check (PVS) https://www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/our-services/services-we-offer/pathology/tests-and-investigations/semen-post-vasectomy-check/