A vasectomy is a fairly simple surgical procedure in which the tubes that deliver sperm into the man’s semen (vas deferens) are snipped or blocked, thus eliminating the presence of sperm from the ejaculate. If you have had a vasectomy, it is highly probable that you cannot get a woman pregnant.
How Effective Is a Vasectomy at Preventing Pregnancy?
A vasectomy is one of the most effective kinds of birth control, and the most effective method for men besides abstinence or outercourse. Simply put, vasectomies are almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.
It is important to note that a vasectomy is not immediately effective as a form of birth control. It takes approximately three months after the surgery for all sperm already in the tubes to be cleared. Therefore, it is important to use a secondary method of birth control during this time to prevent pregnancy.
In addition, a man needs to ejaculate at least 15 times in the first three months following a vasectomy to make certain that any sperm still present in the blocked tubes is expelled. After these three months have passed, your doctor will conduct a semen analysis to make sure that the vasectomy procedure was performed successfully.
Yes, a Vasectomy Procedure Can Fail
Although it is exceptionally rare, one in every 1000 vasectomy procedures does fail, leaving the man still able to impregnate a woman. This happens when the tubes grow back, or the procedure was not successfully performed. If this does occur, it will be necessary to use another form of birth control until the man is able to have the vasectomy procedure performed again.
After the second vasectomy procedure, the man must then wait another three months to clear the vas deferens of sperm before having sexual intercourse without the risk of pregnancy.
There is one thing to keep in mind when using a vasectomy as a form of birth control: it will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases. Although sperm is not present in semen, it does not mean that infections cannot pass through the semen.
Also, you would still be susceptible to any infection your partner may have, and vice versa. For protection against sexually transmitted diseases, a male or female condom should be used, whether or not you have had a vasectomy.
Can a Vasectomy Be Reversed?
While a vasectomy can often be reversed, it may not always result in the ability for the man to impregnate a woman. Because vasectomy reversal is not always successful, men are advised to consider freezing their sperm prior to having a vasectomy, in case they should change their mind in the future and wish to have children.
Are Vasectomies Safe?
Having a vasectomy as a form of birth control has many advantages:
· It is a safe, simple, and convenient sterilization procedure that can last a lifetime.
· It is a one-time procedure that needs no maintenance.
· Vasectomies do not change hormones.
· Sexuality or sexual pleasure does not change.
· Ejaculation remains the same.
· None of your organs or glands are changed with a vasectomy.
· Your ability to achieve an erection will not change.
Vasectomy is the only permanent birth control option for a man, giving him control over his own ability to have children.
Vasectomies are considered very safe for most men. As with any surgical procedure, however, there are some risks. If you are considering having a vasectomy, you should discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.
If you are in the Phoenix, Arizona area and are considering having a vasectomy, please call for an appointment with board-certified urologist Dr. Desiderio Avila, Jr. at (602) 457-1705. Allow him to explain how a vasectomy may prove to be the perfect birth control method for you.