What Is A Vasectomy?
A vasectomy (male sterilization) is a surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes that carry a man’s sperm, to permanently prevent pregnancy. Vasectomy is minor surgery to block sperm from reaching the semen that is ejaculated from the penis. Semen still exists, but it has no sperm in it.
Each year, more than 500,000 men in the U.S. choose vasectomy for birth control. A vasectomy prevents pregnancy better than any other method of birth control, except abstinence. Only 1 to 2 women out of 1,000 will get pregnant in the year after their partners have had a vasectomy.
Some Facts About Having Vasectomy?
- A vasectomy is more than 99% effective. It’s considered permanent, so once it’s done you don’t have to think about contraception again.
- A vasectomy will not affect your sex drive or ability to enjoy sex. You’ll still have erections and ejaculate, but your semen won’t contain sperm.
- You’ll need to use contraception for at least 8 to 12 weeks after the operation, because sperm will still be in the tubes leading to the penis. Up to 2 semen tests are done after the operation to make sure that all the sperm have gone.
- Your ball sack (scrotum) may become bruised, swollen or painful – some men have ongoing pain in their testicles.
- A vasectomy doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so you may need to use condoms as well.
How Is A Vasectomy Surgery Done?
It’s usually carried out under local anaesthetic. In the operating room, your scrotal area will be shaved and washed with an antiseptic solution. Local anesthesia will be injected to numb the area, but you’ll be aware of touch, tension, and movement.
The tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis are cut, blocked or sealed with heat.
What Is A Conventional Vasectomy?
A conventional vasectomy is made by making 2 small cuts in the skin on each side of your scrotum to reach the tubes that carry sperm out of your testicles (vas deferens).
The vas deferens is cut and a small piece may be removed, leaving a short gap between the 2 ends. Next, the urologist may sear the ends of the vas, and then tie the cut ends with a suture. These steps are then repeated on the other vas, either through the same cut or through a new one. The scrotal cuts may be closed with dissolvable stitches or allowed to close on their own.
The tubes are then closed in the same way as a conventional vasectomy, either by being tied or sealed.
There’s little bleeding and thought to be less painful and less likely to cause complications than a conventional vasectomy.
What Is A No-Scalpel Vasectomy?
The no-scapel vasectomy is done by making a tiny puncture hole in the skin of your scrotum to reach the tubes. This means they don’t need to cut the skin with a scalpel.
The urologist feels for the vas under the skin of the scrotum and holds it in place with a small clamp. A tiny hole is made in the skin and stretched open so the vas deferens can be gently lifted out. It is then cut, tied or seared, and put back in place.
Recovering After A Vasectomy Surgery?
You may be uncomfortable after your vasectomy. You may have mild pain like what you’d feel like several minutes after getting hit “down there.” A benign lump (granuloma) may form from sperm leaking from the cut end of the vas into the scrotal tissues. It may be painful or sensitive to touch or pressure, but it isn’t harmful. This usually gets better with time.
You may need mild pain meds to take care of any pain. Severe pain may suggest infection or other problems, and you should see your urologist.
You should go home right away after the procedure. You should avoid sex or activities that take a lot of strength. Swelling and pain can be treated with an ice pack on the scrotum and wearing a supportive undergarment, such as a jockstrap. Most men heal fully in less than a week. Many men are able to return to their job as early as the next day.
Returning To Work After A Vasectomy!
You can usually return to work 1 or 2 days after a vasectomy, but should avoid sport and heavy lifting for at least a week after the procedure to prevent complications. Connsult your vasectomy surgeon if you still have symptoms after a few days.
When Can You Have Sex After A Vasectomy?
You can have sex again as soon as it’s comfortable to do so. The time it takes for your ejaculate to be free of sperm can differ. You’ll need to use another method of contraception for at least the first 8 to 12 weeks, as it can take this long to clear the remaining sperm in your tubes.
Most urologists suggest waiting to check the semen for at least 3 months or 20 ejaculates, whichever comes first. One in 5 men will still have sperm in their ejaculate at that time, and will need to wait longer for the sperm to clear. You shouldn’t assume that your vasectomy is effective until a semen analysis proves it is.
How long this takes varies from man to man. There’s still a risk of pregnancy during this period.
How Will I Know If My Vasectomy Has Worked?
About 12 weeks after the procedure, you’ll need to produce a sample of semen, which will be tested for sperm.
Once tests have confirmed that your semen is sperm-free, the vasectomy is considered successful and you can stop using additional contraception.
Can I Have Children After My Vasectomy Surgery?
Yes, but if you haven’t stored frozen sperm you’ll need an additional procedure. The vas deferens can be microsurgically reconnected in a procedure called vasectomy reversal
Is Reversal Vasectomy Possible?
If a reversal is carried out within 10 years of your vasectomy, the success rate is about 55%. This falls to 25% if your reversal is carried out more than 10 years after. At The Reverse Vasectomy Center our success rate for reverse vasectomy is better than 99%.
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