Powerful sperm: Woman in Taiwan pregnant despite husband undergoing vasectomy 2 years ago

Less than one per cent chance but it happened.
PHOTO: Pixabay

A woman in Taiwan recently took to Facebook to complain about an unusual problem -- her husband's powerful swimmers.

Last month, the couple discovered that she was pregnant with their fourth child.

The (no pun intended) kicker? Her husband had undergone three vasectomy procedures (male sterilisation) two years ago after the birth of their third child. 

Equally astounded was their gynaecologist, who thought that a mistake had been made and told the couple to seek answers from the urologist who performed the procedure.

According to China Press, the test results showed that her husband was still fertile despite the repeated attempts at sterilisation and the low recorded sperm count. 

"The doctor said that my husband's sperm were too powerful and I am very fertile which is the ideal combination for many childless couples," the woman wrote in her caption. 

A photo of the man's recent test results according to his wife.  Photo: Screengrab from Facebook/ 爆怨公社 via China Press 

According to her husband's semen sample, the urologist said he had only a small amount of motile (swimming) sperm, but what remained after the procedure was "very strong". 

"I can't afford to raise a fourth child and I don't want the child to suffer with us. Therefore, I made the painful decision to take abortion pills and have a miscarriage," the woman wrote in the post.

Comments made on the online article raised doubts that the husband could be the father of the child and alluded to the woman cheating on her spouse.

"The husband must have suspected the wife cheated on him." Photo: Screengrab from China Press comments section 

LESS THAN ONE PER CENT CHANCE BUT POSSIBLE

According to Singapore-based urologists Dr Sim Hong Gee and Dr Michael Wong, the above scenario is possible albeit statistically unlikely.

A vasectomy procedure, if performed correctly by an experienced urologist, they agreed, has a greater than 99 per cent chance of preventing pregnancy.

"This case is unusual because of the alleged normal sexual relations without pregnancy for two years after vasectomy before a 'sudden' pregnancy," Dr Sim told AsiaOne. 

According to him, the most common causes of vasectomy failure leading to pregnancy are:

  1. Incomplete ejaculation of existing sperm three to six months after the procedure.
  2. Reconnection of the cut ends of the vasectomy tubes.
  3. Failure to identify and tie the correct tube, especially in men who had previous scrotal surgeries, multiple natural tubes or severe infection in the area.

Dr Sim, vice-president of the Singapore Urological Association, also stated that the patient might not have returned to his doctor to confirm the absence of motile sperm after surgery, which increases the chances of a delayed unwanted pregnancy.

joeylee@asiaone.com