A vasectomy is a male birth control procedure that cuts off the flow of sperm to the semen. It is typically considered a low-risk surgery and is often performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you will be able to go home on the same day as the operation.
Vasectomy is an effective way to prevent pregnancy, as the failure rate of it is very low. However, it is not a method to protect against diseases.
Benefits of a Vasectomy
As a method of birth control, a vasectomy offers many benefits, such as:
- Effectiveness: This procedure is considered one of the most reliable forms of contraception, with a success rate of over 99%.
- An Outpatient Surgery: As it is a simple and quick procedure, the patient can return home on the same day as the operation.
- Low Risk of Complications: Vasectomy is considered a safe procedure with a low risk of complications. Serious complications are rare, and most patients experience only minor discomfort.
- Less Expensive: The cost of a vasectomy is way less expensive than the cost of tubal ligation surgery (female sterilization).
Who is Candidate for a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is typically considered an option for males who have decided to permanently prevent pregnancy and meet the following criteria:
- Certain About Their Decision: Since this procedure is a permanent form of contraception, it is important to be sure that you do not want to father any or any additional children in the future.
- Good Physical Health: Certain health conditions or medications may need to be considered before proceeding with a vasectomy. It is important to discuss any existing medical conditions or concerns with your doctor.
This is typically a short procedure as it usually takes up to 30 minutes and follows these steps:
1. You will be injected with local anesthesia into the skin of your scrotum to numb the area so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
2. Then, your surgeon will begin by making a small incision in the upper part of the scrotum. If the no-scalpel technique is being used, your surgeon will only make a small puncture in the scrotum.
3. Your surgeon will locate the vas deferens, which is the sperm duct, the tube that carries semen from your testicle.
4. The vas deferens will be then exposed through the incision or puncture.
5. Your surgeon will cut a small section of the vas deferens and remove it or block and seal the tubes by clipping, cauterizing, or a combination of methods. This will prevent sperm from mixing with semen during ejaculation.
6. The incision will be closed using stitches or adhesive strips. In some cases, the wound may not require closure.
Recovery After Surgery
Following surgery, you will experience some swelling, pain, and bruising. This will get better within the days. Your doctor will provide you with instructions to have a successful recovery.
You may be recommended to apply ice packs on the surgery area for the first two days and to limit physical activity.
If you notice signs of infection such as blood at the surgery site, redness, or severe pain or swelling, call your doctor immediately.