Vasectomy is a type of male birth control that prevents the supply of sperm to the semen. It is a very common procedure that has a low risk of complications and can usually be performed in the doctor’s office in as little as 15-30 minutes. If you are considering a vasectomy, read this complete guide, so you know what to expect from the procedure.
Vasectomy is a minor operation and one of the safest, most effective methods of permanent male birth control. This male-sterilization procedure works by cutting and sealing the vas deferens– the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis.
If you are considering a vasectomy, you will have an initial consultation with your urologist to discuss what’s involvedand to confirm that a vasectomy is the right decision for you.
What Types of Vasectomy Procedures are There?
Traditional vasectomy procedures involve the use of a local anesthetic, which is injected into the skin of the scrotum with a small needle. Once the area is numb, a small incision is made in the upper part of the scrotum. The vas deferens are then located and gently withdrawn through the incision and cut. The tubes are then sealed using a range of different methods, such as using heat (cauterizing), surgical clips,by tying them, or a combination of methods. The ends of the vas deferens are then returned to the scrotum and the incision is closed using either stitches or glue.
With advances in male sterilization surgery, the no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy procedure is an alternative method, which is performed as an outpatient procedure in your urologist’s office. It is a quick, minimally invasive technique that is practically painless and isassociated with a faster recovery and less post-op complications, allowing patients to resume their sex life faster.
The no-needle, no-scalpel approach utilizes a state-of-the-art anesthesia technique. A special device is used to spray anesthetic directly on the skin to numb the area completely, meaning no injectionis necessary. Once numb, a small specialized surgical instrument is used to puncture a tiny hole into the scrotum. The hole is gently spread open to allow access to the vas deferens. The skin is very stretchy in this area, therefore there is minimal trauma or bleeding. The vas deferens are withdrawn through the punctured hole, cut and sealed (as before) and then returned inside the scrotum.Stitches are not necessary,as the hole closesquickly and heals naturally.
What is the Recovery Like?
Vasectomy is a safe procedure, and there is a much lower rate of side effects and complications with the no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy compared to traditional methods that require a cut and stitches.
After the procedure, you will need plenty of rest and must avoid heavy liftingfor several days to avoid complications. You may experience minor pain, discomfort, and bruising, and there may be some swelling of the scrotum. Applying ice periodically to the area can help to reduce inflammation. Other side effects right after surgery may include bleeding inside the scrotum and blood in semen.
As with any type of surgery, there is a small risk of complications, such as infection, inflammation caused by leaking sperm, and rarely, pregnancy, ifthe vasectomy fails. Some men experience ongoing pain in their testicles, but this is uncommon.
You can resume sexual activity 7 days after a vasectomy. However, because some sperm can stay in the vas deferens, it is important to use another form of birth control for at least 8 weeks after the operation and until your doctor determines you are no longer fertile. Up to 3 post-vasectomy semen analysis (PVSA) tests may be required to ensure you are sterile.
Does Vasectomy Affect Sexual Performance?
A vasectomy does not affect sex drive, masculinity, or sexual performance. It purely prevents pregnancy by stopping sperm from reaching the seminal fluid (semen), which is ejaculated from the penis during sex. A man can still ejaculate following a vasectomy, there will just be no sperm in the semen, meaning a woman’s egg cannot be fertilized.
Is Vasectomy Right For Me?
Vasectomy should be considered a permanent form of male birth control. Therefore, before getting a vasectomy, you need to be certain you don’t want to father a child in the future. It is also important to remember that a vasectomy provides no protection from sexually transmitted infections, so precautions should still be taken.
Vasectomy is considered a permanent procedure, however, it is possible to get a vasectomy reversal, should you later decide to have children. This is a more complex procedure that should only be performed by a fellowship-trained, board-certified urologist.
Vasectomy and Vasectomy Reversal Procedures in Phoenix, AZ
If you are considering vasectomy, contact Ironwood Urology for high-quality patient-focused men’s health care. Our board-certified urologist, Dr. Desi Avila, is one of Phoenix’s leading men’s health specialists, specializing in male sterilization surgery, including the effective, safe, and successful no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy procedure. Dr. Avila also specializes in vasectomy reversal, male infertility, robotic urological surgery, and much more.
To arrange a vasectomy consultation with Dr. Avila, or to find out about the other services we offer, call Ironwood Urology at (480) 961-2323, or you can request an appointment online.