A vasectomy is a form of birth control during which the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm, are cut. When the tube is cut, there is no way for sperm to be released from the penis. This procedure is considered a permanent form of birth control, but it is possible to have a reversal surgery should the patient change their mind in the future.
Benefits of a Vasectomy
It is recommended that men only get a vasectomy when they are certain that they no longer wish to have children. It is the preferred choice for many couples because:
- The use of male birth control (condoms) or female birth control (pills, IUDs, etc.) is no longer needed.
- The procedure is almost 100 percent certain to prevent pregnancy.
- It is much less expensive than female sterilization.
In most cases, a vasectomy will be performed in-office and is considered an outpatient procedure. Full-anesthesia is not required, only a local anesthetic is necessary. There are two ways to complete this procedure.
The surgeon will use a scalpel to create two small incisions on either side of the scrotum. The surgeon will remove a small section of the vas deferens. The tubes are tied, or cauterized so that they are closed and can no longer transport sperm.
A no-scalpel vasectomy does not use incisions, rather, the surgeon is able to access the vas deferens through very small holes. No stitches are needed for this form of surgery.
Recovery After the Procedure
Immediately following a vasectomy, there will be bruising and swelling, but those symptoms should subside after a few days. Apply ice packs every few hours to help control these symptoms. Wear tight-fitting underwear so that the scrotum is provided extra support.
Get plenty of bed rest during the first week. At the very least, stay off of your feet for two or three days. Avoid bathing for about 48 hours because this will allow the incisions to heal faster and prevent infection. Take the antibiotics that your doctor provides.
Most patients are able to return to their normal lives after one week.
Sex After a Vasectomy
Wait at least one week before having sexual intercourse. Keep in mind, you may not be sterile right away. Ejaculate may still contain sperm and may continue to for several months after the procedure. After a few months, the doctor will check sperm levels to confirm that it is declining until it reaches zero.
The vasectomy will not affect your sex drive and orgasms. Occasionally, men feel a slight pressure in their testicles when aroused, but eventually, that feeling will go away.