The Vasectomy: Simple, Safe, and Effective

The Vasectomy Is a Common, Yet Often Misunderstood Surgical Procedure

10/6/15 12:25 AM
Vasectomy

Photo by: Spirit-Fire | Flickr.com

A vasectomy is a common, long-lasting procedure that is designed to sterilize a man by preventing sperm from entering his seminal stream. It’s seen as an effective alternative for those who no longer want to use condoms or have partners that cannot or prefer not to use medicinal birth control.

Who It’s For

After surveying families, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most men got a vasectomy, because they or their partner did not want additional children. But being in a relationship isn’t the only reason to get one. Single men, who are sure they don’t want children, are obvious candidates, but most urologists aren’t willing to perform the surgery on individuals under the age of 30. Also, vasectomies aren’t always entirely covered by medical insurance.

The Surgery

There are several different methods for a doctor and patient to choose from before undergoing a vasectomy, but generally, a doctor will cut the tubes (called vas deferens) that carry sperm from the scrotum to the testicles. Some other options include burning the ends, tying the ends, or using metal clips. Overall, the procedure usually takes around 10 minutes and is relatively simple.

In terms of pain, most patients stay awake during surgery and usually feel the equivalent of a bee sting. Afterwards, the surgery can leave a man sore for about a week.

Potential Risks

Most surgeries performed on the human body leave risk for bleeding and infection, but problems arising in vasectomies are extremely rare. Swelling and bruising is common, but should be gone within two weeks. Another rare risk factor is recanalization, in which the two tubes that were cut grow back together. This happens in about one in 1,000 vasectomies.

Recovery and Follow Up

It’s suggested that you rest for a few days after having a vasectomy. On top of that, most doctors advise wearing scrotal support for three to four days, and no sexual activity should take place for about a week. Once a vasectomy is had, a man will probably still have sperm in his semen (a man can store sperm for approximately two months). It’s for this reason all patients should come in for at least one semen analysis after undergoing surgery. Before coming in for the analysis, they should continue to use whatever methods of birth control were utilized before the vasectomy.

As long as precautions and reactionary measures are taken before and after undergoing a vasectomy, the procedure is safe and effective.

Common Misconceptions

While many men worry about changes in their ejaculate and sexual function, a vasectomy has no effect on either. A man’s ejaculate is made up of less than 3 percent sperm; thus, the operation creates no noticeable changes in male ejaculate. As for sexual function, a vasectomy actually has the reverse effect expected by many men. Vasectomies often release an increase in testosterone. In the early 1900’s, vasectomies were even performed in Germany as a rejuvenation operation for older men.

In addition to a release of testosterone, many men notice improved sexual activity as a result of not having to worry about unwanted pregnancies. If you have decided that permanent birth control is right for you and your current situation, a vasectomy is a safe and reliable option. Find a qualified urologist to perform this procedure on Urologists.com.

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