If you have made the decision to undergo a vasectomy, the last thing you expect is for your partner to fall pregnant. This can raise a lot of difficult questions and you will undoubtedly want to know why it has happened. If a failed vasectomy is to blame, you could be entitled to claim compensation for the damage that the medical error has caused you and your family.
How does a vasectomy fail?
During a vasectomy, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis during an ejaculation are cut. This is normally done under local anaesthetic and is considered to be a safe and successful method of permanent contraception.
However, it is not immediately effective as sperm will continue to be present in the semen for some weeks afterwards. Eight weeks after the procedure a semen sample will be tested, and another one shortly thereafter, to check whether it is safe to have unprotected sex. Other means of contraception must be used until two semen tests are shown to be clear.
As long as the operation is properly performed and two clear semen samples obtained, a male should subsequently be unable to conceive. Yet sometimes a vasectomy does fail. This can happen if the tubes which have been cut (known as the vas deferens) naturally join back together. This is called recanalization and nothing can be done to prevent it.
But recanalization is a very rare phenomenon. Normally a vasectomy will fail because of medical error, with the most common problem being that the surgeon did not carry out the procedure correctly, instead cutting another structure such as a ligament. This will mean the vas deferens remain intact, allowing sperm to pass from the testicles to the penis.
Other negligent reasons for a failed vasectomy include:
- If a patient was not informed of the need to use other means of contraception after the procedure;
- If semen samples were not sent for testing;
- If semen samples were said to be clear when in fact sperm were still present.
Claiming compensation for your failed vasectomy
If your vasectomy has failed and you believe medical negligence is to blame, get in touch with us at 1stClaims. We specialise in medical negligence claims and will be able to suggest whether doctors are at fault for your vasectomy failure. If so, we will help you pursue a claim against the individual or organisation responsible, ensuring you are awarded compensation for the unnecessary pain and suffering you have been caused.