Beyond that, the success rate drops to 75 to 80 percent.
Given those stats, it's best to consider a vasectomy "a permanent form of sterilization," Ross says.
"I will always tell young men that in my 38 years of practice, I've seen many men change their minds." Second -- and third -- thoughts Mc Clure says he spends most of his time "putting vasectomies back together," performing more than 2,000 reversals since 1975.
And while men in their late 30s or 40s are often the ones who opt for the surgery, Dr.
Dale Mc Clure, director of Male Infertility at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, says he sees "a fair number of people under 35" who have undergone the procedure.
"I'm actually seeing more people than I have in the past that are younger that had a vasectomy at age 21 or 22," says Mc Clure.
That doesn't mean doctors are doling out vasectomies like condoms at a free health clinic.
"I jokingly tell patients it's like buying a gun in Chicago," says Dr.
Lawrence Ross, professor of urology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"You can go look at the gun but you can't buy it right away." That's because, Ross says, "there's no 100 percent guarantee in any case that we can reverse it." Within 10 years of having a vasectomy, there's a 90 to 95 percent success rate for reversal surgery.
"I did not want to raise children or be a parent due to some sort of mistaken encounter," explains the video engineer from San Jose, California, who is now 34 and lives with his girlfriend of three years.
It's not that Eskridge doesn't like kids; he has eight nieces and nephews whom he adores. "I've quit steady, solid jobs to work for next to nothing to live somewhere else in the country," Eskridge says.