Since June is Men’s Health Month, we are doing a blog series on health-related topics specific to men. Check back on our blog weekly to stay updated on men’s health and don’t forget to schedule a check-up!
If you’re looking for a permanent form of contraception, you may have considered getting a vasectomy. But what exactly is the procedure and what do you need to be aware of as you make your decision?
Though vasectomies have a reputation for being an invasive procedure, modern technology has opened up new options to make it simpler and less painful than ever before. Here’s our quick overview to get you informed about why having a vasectomy just isn’t as scary as you think.
What Is a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a procedure that prevents sperm from entering your ejaculate, therefore removing the possibility of getting your partner pregnant. The blockage is created by either cutting and knotting or cauterizing your vasa deferentia, the two tubes within your testicles. These are the tubes through which sperm normally travel on their way to the urethra.
Because the vasa deferentia are within the scrotum, they can be accessed either through an incision, or through a puncture in each testicle. Both options are equally effective; an incision is always under an inch long and closed up with dissolving stitches, while the puncture requires no stitches, and therefore reduces the likelihood of infection or bruising.
The whole procedure takes about half an hour, with a consultation required at most clinics beforehand. While a vasectomy can be reversed in some scenarios, this is both extremely complicated and expensive, so it’s best to view the procedure as permanent when making your decision.
How Long Is the Recovery?
You may experience some pain straight after the vasectomy, but icing your scrotum and taking a couple of over-the-counter pain medications should provide you with all the relief you need.
You can expect to be back to your normal self within a week of the procedure. While you should avoid any serious physical activity during those first 7 days, you can begin enjoying your regular sex life within just a few days of your vasectomy. Just remember: you will not be sterile right away. In fact, it’s believed that you could still get your partner pregnant with your first 15 ejaculates after the procedure. That means it’s essential to use alternative forms of contraception. The only way to guarantee sterility is to take a semen sample to your doctor for an analysis to make sure it does not contain any live sperm.
Are There Any Complications?
Complications are few and far between, and the failure rate is thought to be as low as 0.15%, with most of these failures taking place shortly after the procedure, when live sperm was still present.
The most common complication is when sperm build up in the epididymis, a 16-foot-long tightly coiled tube behind each testicle. The build up leads to pressure and possible discomfort. In very rare cases, the only solution to this pain is the reversal of the vasectomy. However, in the overwhelming majority of occurrences, it can be eased by taking warm baths or wearing a supporter before all pain disappears completely.
Most importantly, a vasectomy will not affect your impotence. On the contrary, having the procedure will actually increase the amount of testosterone in your body by a small amount. What’s more, having a vasectomy may make your sex life better, as you won’t have to worry about getting your partner pregnant by accident.
The idea of a vasectomy may seem scary at first, but it’s actually a quick and painless routine procedure with barely any risks involved. For more help making an informed decision about a vasectomy, contact our expert team today.