Table Of Contents
- A vasectomy at a glance
- What is a vasectomy?
- How does it prevent pregnancy?
- How effective is it?
- The two types
- What are the benefits?
- Is it right for me?
- How safe is it?
- What are the disadvantages?
- Does it hurt?
- How will you feel after having a one?
- How long does it take to recover?
- How do I get one and how much does it cost?
Vasectomy At A Quick Look
- Meant to be a permanent birth control solution
- Can cost anywhere from $0 – $1,000
- Effective and Safe
- Prevents pregnancy by sterilizing a man
What Is It?
A vasectomy is meant to be a permanent birth control option. It may possibly be reversed if needed but is very expensive and can be less successful the longer you wait. Also there is no guarantee the reversal will work.
The procedure is when a doctor or a healthcare professional closes the tubes that carry the sperm outside of a man’s body. By preventing the sperm to exit the body it stops pregnancies from occurring.
How Does It Prevent Pregnancy?
Sperm is created in the testicles of a man. The sperm passes through two tubes that are called vasa deferentia and mixes with seminal fluids to form semen. A vasectomy procedure prevents each vas deferens from allowing the sperm to enter the seminal fluid.
The sperm is absorbed into the body instead of ejaculated. Without having the sperm present in the ejaculation it cannot cause pregnancy.
How Effective Is It?
It is the most effective method of birth control a man can choose besides Abstinence. It is nearly 100% effective.
One thing that should be taken into consideration before having sex after having the procedure is that it is not immediately effective. There is sperm that remains beyond the blocked tubes that can take up to three months to leave.
Therefore it is important that for those three months that a secondary birth control method like a condom is used to prevent pregnancy.
During this three month grace period a man must ejaculate at least 15 times in order to make sure all the old sperm is removed past the blocked tubes. This can be done by masturbation or into a secondary birth control method in order to prevent pregnancy.
After the three month grace period is completed a semen analysis needs to be done to make sure that the procedure was performed successfully. It is possible in very rare cases (1 in 1000) that the tubes will grow back or the procedure did not take. In that case another vasectomy will need to be performed and another three months will need to pass before having regular intercourse again without the worry of pregnancy.
Note: It does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections. Even though sperm is not present in the semen it does not mean infections cannot pass through the semen. In order to reduce the risk of an infection a female condom or latex condom should be used.
The Two Types
There are two ways it can be performed:
- Incision Method
- No-Incision Method
The incision method takes roughly 20 minutes whereas the no-incision method takes less time and has a quicker recovery time.
With the incision method the pelvic area is frozen with a local anesthetic to prevent pain from the scalpel incision. The doctor makes one incision in the center of the scrotum or one on each side of the scrotum to reach each vas deferens.
With the incision the doctor will then remove a small section of each tube or block each tube by tying it off or blocking it with surgical clips. Or, the tubes will be closed off using an instrument that has an electrical current.
The no-incision (“no-scalpel”) method is where the skin of the scrotum is not cut. Instead a tiny puncture is made on each scrotum in order to reach both tubes. The tubes are then blocked, tied off, or cauterized.
With this method the tiny punctures heal quickly and no stitches are required. Additionally no scarring takes place.
The no-incision method can decrease the possibility of infections, bruising, and other complications. This method will also reduce bleeding.
What Are The Benefits?
The main benefit of the procedure is that it is safe, simple, lasts a life time, and is convenient.
Additionally it allows men and women to enjoy sex without having to worry about getting pregnant.
Other benefits include:
- Does not change hormones
- Does not change masculinity
- Does not affect ability to stay erect
- Does not change sexuality or sexual pleasure
- Does not change ejaculation
- Does not alter or remove any organs or glands
Is It Right For Me?
It may be right for you if you fall into one of the following categories:
- You and your partner agree that your family is complete and you no longer want any more children
- You do not want to pass along any disabilities or hereditary illnesses
- You do not want to have a child biologically in the future
- You or your partner may have worries about the side effects of other birth control methods
- You want to spare your partner the expense and surgery of having a tubal sterilization (which can be more costly and complicated)
- Other methods of birth control are unacceptable to you
- You want to enjoy having sex without having to worry about getting your partner pregnant
How Safe Is It?
Majority of men can have it very safely. However with all medical procedures there can be some small risks. In order to learn more you should talk to a health care professional.
What Are The Disadvantages?
It may not be right for you if you:
- Are unsure if you want to have a child biologically in the future
- Are being pressured by family, friends, or a partner
- If you are looking to solve problems that could be temporary such as:
- Out of work
- Short-term mental or physical illnesses
- Sexual problems
- Marital problems
Before considering getting the procedure it is important to consider other birth control methods that are not permanent so that you are 100% sure this option is right for you.
It is very difficult to reverse and it is very costly (in the thousands of dollar range). There is no guarantee a reversal will work as it depends on various factors such as: how long ago the procedure occurred, whether the antibodies to sperm have developed, and the method of procedure used.
One option to take before having it performed is saving sperm in a sperm bank. If you are unsure if you will want children in the future it is possible to collect sperm, have it frozen, and placed in a sperm bank for later use.
As with any medical procedure there are some possible risks with having a vasectomy. Though the chances are very low it’s possible to get an infection after having a vasectomy. Some signs you may have an infection include: a fever, pus oozing or blood on the site of the incision, or excessive pain or swelling.
The complications are less likely to occur with the no-incision method.
Other possible complications that may occur in rare instances are:
- The ends of the tubes grow back together in very rare cases which can cause pregnancy to happen again
- Decreased sexual desire or the inability to have an erection
- The is most likely caused by emotions and not a physical cause
- Discomfort or pain in the testicles
- Bruising – this normally clears up on its own after the scrotum has been healed
- Hydroceles – swellings that contain fluid and there is tenderness near the testicles
- Hematomas – swellings that contain blood
- Granuloma – A small lump under the skin near where the surgery occurred which is caused by sperm leaks from the tubes
Does It Hurt?
Before the procedure is started your health care provider will put a numbing agent on your scrotum to numb the area so you hardly feel anything while the procedure takes place. When the numbing agent goes on it feels like a light slap on the scrotum.
Once the area is numb you won’t really feel anything while the procedure occurs.
After the procedure is completed you will be given a schedule of when to take pain medications in order to reduce swelling and keep pain from occurring.
Additionally for a week you will be required to wear a jock strap to support the scrotum so it doesn’t knock around while moving and you will be asked to do as little walking as possible for a week with no heavy lifting.
If you follow all the rules set forth by your doctor you should feel very little pain throughout the whole process.
How Will You Feel After Having One?
After having a vasectomy you may feel some slight to moderate pain if you do too much walking or heavy lifting. Also if you are not taking your pain medication on time you may feel some more discomfort.
The pain may get a little worse on the second or third day but it should only be slight as long as you are following your health care professionals’ guidelines.
On the first day you will need to spend the whole day off your feet icing the scrotum and on the following days (for a week) you need to make sure you walk very little and don’t lift anything over 15 lbs or so.
After the healing has occurred you will feel exactly the same as before.
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
Most men can have vasectomy at the end of the week and be back at work on Monday. As long as you do not have a job that requires a lot of walking and heavy lifting.
Within a week most men can resume normal sexual activities and be fully recovered.
In some rare cases there can be complications and therefore a follow up visit with the doctor is usually required to make sure you are healing normally as planned.
How Do I Get A One & How Much Does It Cost?
In order to get a vasectomy you need to visit a health care professional. The normal process is you get a recommendation from your family doctor that you would take to the doctor who is performing the procedure and then book an appointment.
Before you get it done you will be required to fill out some forms to determine if it is right for you.
Once you’ve filled out the forms and confirm that this procedure is right for you and your family you will schedule an appointment with the doctor to get it done.
It can cost anywhere from $0 – $1,000, depending if the costs are covered by your medical plan. Usually there are at least some small costs involved if you are covered by your medical plan.