Persistence or reappearance of nonmotile sperm after vasectomy: does it have clinical consequences?

Fertil Steril. 1997 Feb;67(2):332-5. doi: 10.1016/S0015-0282(97)81920-6.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the percentage of patients with nonmotile sperm 12 weeks after vasectomy, to estimate the time needed for eventual azoospermia in these patients, and to record the percentage of patients with recurrence of nonmotile sperm after initial azoospermia after vasectomy.

Design: A review of the semen analysis of vasectomies performed in a 2-year period. Semen analysis in a group of volunteers from 4 months until 24 months after vasectomy.

Setting: Vasectomies performed in an outpatient department of the University Hospital of Maastricht.

Patient(s): Men referred by the general practitioner for a vasectomy.

Intervention(s): Vasectomy.

Main outcome measure(s): Amount and motility of sperm in postvasectomy semen samples.

Result(s): Nonmotile sperm was found in 33% of the patients 12 weeks after vasectomy. The mean time to azoospermia was 6.36 months. Nonmotile sperm after initial azoospermia was found in 5 of 65 patients.

Conclusion(s): Azoospermia as a criterion for sterility leads to unnecessary prolonged semen analysis in a large percentage of the vasectomized patients. Reappearance of nonmotile sperm was found in an unexpectedly high percentage.

PIP: A study was conducted to determine the percentage of patients with nonmotile sperm 12 weeks after vasectomy, to estimate the time needed for eventual azoospermia in the men, and to record the percentage of patients with recurrence of nonmotile sperm after initial azoospermia following vasectomy. A review of semen analyses was conducted in 413 patients who underwent vasectomy between April 1, 1993, and July 31, 1995, in an outpatient department of the University Hospital of Maastricht. 395 patients delivered a sperm sample 12 weeks after vasectomy. Nonmotile sperm was found in 33% of patients 12 weeks after vasectomy, the mean time to azoospermia was 6.36 months, and nonmotile sperm after initial azoospermia was found in 5 of 65 patients. The authors conclude that azoospermia as a criterion for sterility leads to unnecessary prolonged semen analysis in a large percentage of vasectomized patients. The reappearance of nonmotile sperm was found in an unexpectedly high percentage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reoperation
  • Sperm Motility*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vasectomy*