What is a Vasectomy?
Vasectomy is a minor operation that prevents pregnancy. When you ejaculate, it blocks sperm from reaching your semen. You can't get pregnant if there is no sperm left in your body. It's possible to still have an orgasm, and even ejaculate.
Vasectomy can be performed in the office by your vasectomy doctor. This is a common procedure that only takes around 30 minutes and you can leave for your home right after that. It may be called male sterilization by your doctor. It might be called "the snip" by your friends or "getting the snipped".
To access these tubes, the urology specialist will make cuts in your scrotum. You will have one for each testicle. Each tube is known as a "vas deferens." Each tube may be removed by your doctor. Each end may be sewn, but each will be tied with a stitch. The doctor might be able do both cuts with one cut or may need to make another. To help close the cuts, you might need stitches that will dissolve. Each vas deferens is the point at which sperm cannot reach your body or reach your semen.
The doctor will feel for each vas inferens below your scrotum, and use a clamp to keep it in place. The doctor will make a small hole in your skin and then open it up to lift the vas deferens. They will then cut it and seal it with stitches, searing or both.
What are the Benefits of Vasectomies
These procedures are almost 100% effective. The tubes may reattach in very rare instances. In rare cases, the tubes can rejoin. If this happens, your sperm may leave your body and cause pregnancy.
After a vasectomy, sperm can still be released for a short time. Make sure you get the follow up test to make sure you are aware of when you can quit using other methods of birth control. Watch a video on vasectomy and how it works.
Side effects of a vasectomy
Vasectomy procedures are completely safe. There may be mild discomfort and some bleeding. These aren't common and they don't usually cause any serious problems. About 1% to 22% of men experience pain that doesn’t disappear.
Although complications are not common, they are possible but can be serious. If you experience symptoms, talk to your doctor. There are a few other possible issues, but they are rare.
· A feeling or ache in the testicle that is similar to pressure, discomfort or a sting.
· Sperm granuloma is a hard lump or inflammation that results from leaking sperm.
· Spermatocele is a cyst that collects sperm in the tube.
· Hydrocele is a fluid sac around a testicle which causes swelling in the scrotum.
It's the most reliable form of birth control if you don't intend to have children. It is also less likely than having your tubes tied (or tubal ligation), which can cause more problems. Your insurance may cover a vasectomy as a one-time expense.
Don't worry if you are concerned about your sexual drive. This procedure will not affect your testosterone levels, erections or climaxes, or any other aspect of your sex life.
Recovery after a Vasectomy
· Take it easy once you get home
Rest at least one day. In less than one week, you should be fully recovered. Many men undergo the procedure on Friday and then return to work on Monday.
For a few days, you'll feel sore. Ice packs can be used to reduce swelling and pain. A jockstrap can be worn for support.
What is the Cost of a Vasectomy?
In some states, vasectomies can be covered completely by insurance. The cost of vasectomies can be as low as $500 and up to $2,000. You might have to pay additional fees for your consultation.
Is a Vasectomy Safe for STDs?
Can a Vasectomy be reversed?
Sometimes. Reversing a vasectomy can be difficult and sometimes doesn't work. If you aren't sure that you will want to have children in the future, don't go for the procedure.
Is Prostate Cancer more likely after a vasectomy?
This is a mixed research question. According to the American Cancer Society, some studies suggest that vasectomies might make men more likely to develop prostate cancer than others. However, other studies have not shown this connection.
Recent research shows that a vasectomy doesn't increase a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer. This should not be considered a reason not to have one.
· Men worry that a vasectomy will cause severe problems, but this fear is unfounded. A vasectomy will not cause:
· Your sexual performance will be affected. Vasectomy will not affect your sexual drive or masculinity.
· Permanently harm your sexual organs. Surgery is unlikely to cause injury to your testicles, penis, or any other reproductive parts. Although it is possible for a testicle to be lost if there is an injury to the blood supply, this is rare.
· Your risk of developing certain types of cancers. There has never been a proven link between vasectomy, testicular and prostate cancer.
· Your risk of developing heart disease. There is no link between vasectomy, heart problems and cancer fears.
· Can cause severe pain. Although you might feel some minor discomfort and tugging or pulling during surgery, severe pain is uncommon. You might feel some discomfort after surgery, but most men will experience minor pain that goes away within a few days.
How to prepare
· Food and medication
You will be asked by your doctor to stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and other blood-thinning medication a few days before your surgery. These include warfarin Coumadin (Jantoven), others, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as heparin.
· Personal and clothing
To minimize swelling and support the scrotum, bring a pair of underwear that is tight fitting or an athletic supporter.
· Additional precautions
To avoid any movement or pressure in the area of your surgery, arrange for a ride home.