Vasectomy is a form of permanent birth control that involves a male undergoing surgery to block the vas deferens – the tubes in the scrotum that relay sperm – for which the procedure is named. Because many men don’t know what to expect before, during, and after a vasectomy, learning the facts will lead to a better decision-making process.
Vasectomy Is a Simple Procedure
During a vasectomy, the vas deferens tubes are sealed or snipped, so that sperm won’t be ejaculated in the semen during sex. Though a male who undergoes a vasectomy will still manufacture sperm through the testicles, the sperm is absorbed in the body rather than being expelled – therefore eliminating the possibility of pregnancy occurring during sex.
The procedure, which is often performed in a doctor’s office, is fairly quick – it takes approximately 30 minutes. The patient won’t be placed under general anesthesia; only a local anesthetic is necessary so no pain is felt during the procedure. The patient remains awake and can go home immediately after the surgery.
In addition to the local anesthetic, the doctor may provide the patient with a medication that will help them to relax.
How Is a Vasectomy Done?
There are two methods that doctors can use to perform vasectomies. In the first method, one or two small incisions are made in the scrotum. The doctor will then block the vas deferens: The tubes are either tied, cauterized with an electrical current, or blocked with clips. The cuts are then stitched, and the procedure is done.
The second method used to perform a vasectomy is referred to as the no-scalpel method. Though the doctor will make a tiny puncture in the skin of the scrotum to reach the vas deferens, a scalpel isn’t used to cut the scrotum. The tubes are tied off, cauterized, or blocked. The puncture is so small that it doesn’t require stitches, and it heals quickly.
With the no-scalpel method, the patient can expect less bleeding and less chance of infection. Additionally, there is virtually no scarring involved.
Effective and Permanent Birth Control
A vasectomy is a minimally invasive surgery, and is over 99 percent effective. Abstinence is the only form of birth control that is more effective.
A vasectomy is meant to be a permanent solution to birth control. There is a possibility that a vasectomy can be reversed, but there are no guarantees that a reversal will work – and the surgery to accomplish reversal is complicated.
In a vasectomy reversal, the tubes have to be rejoined. The procedure takes up to four hours, and the patient is under general (full) anesthesia.
Expect a Quick Recovery
It takes only a few days of rest to feel up to getting back to work following a vasectomy. However, if your work is physically demanding, it’s best to take it easy for at least a week. Your doctor will give you more direct and specific advice for your situation.
Expect Slight Pain After a Vasectomy
Immediately following a vasectomy, you may feel a little bit of pain or discomfort, but it should only be slight and manageable. Wear underwear that fits snugly and prevents testicles from excessive movement.
Applying covered ice onto the genitals and taking over-the-counter pain medication will help ease the discomfort associated with a vasectomy. If you have a fever that exceeds 100 degrees or have other complications surrounding the incision – such as pus, bleeding, or excessive swelling of the scrotum or testicles – then call your doctor. If your physician discovers that you have an infection, then antibiotics may be ordered.
Expect a Normal Sex Life
One question that is inevitably asked is “When can I have sex again?” Following a vasectomy, you can begin to have sex within a week.
However, it is extremely important to know that sex soon after a vasectomy can result in pregnancy, since the surgery won’t prevent pregnancy right away. Semen will continue to be present in sperm up to 3 months after the surgery.
Urologist in Arizona
The medical team at Ironwood Urology is committed to the complete evaluation and treatment of your good health. Call us for an appointment today at (480) 961-2323 or request an appointment online. We’re here to help you maintain excellent health and vitality for the lifestyle you enjoy.