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To the Editor:—
In the Questions and Answers section of The Journal ( 177:224 [July 22] 1961), there was a question concerning establishment of sterility following vasectomy answered by Dr. L. F. Greene, which needs clarification as it represents the usual, though not the complete, answer. The answer was, "Bilateral vasectomy is considered to be successful if examination of the semen, 1 or 2 months after operation, discloses azoospermia." This alludes to the commonly accepted fact that time alone is necessary to produce infertility following bilateral vasectomy.I believe it more accurate to advise the patient he is infertile only after his seminal vesicle is emptied by ejaculations. Contraceptives should be used until azoospermia is proved. In more than 25 years of urology, I have examined successive ejaculates in cooperative patients to azoospermia. The findings are that 95% show no sperm by the fourth to sixth ejaculate. An additional 5%
Stockwell L. Sterility Following Vasectomy. JAMA. 1961;178(3):354-355. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040420094033