Vasectomy – Procedure, Advantages and Side-effects

Vasectomy - Procedure, Advantages and Side-effects

Love making helps improve the bond between you and your partner. It is also a way to get babies which is not something which every couple wants. For financial reasons, personal choice or health reasons, a couple may not wish to have another child. In this case, a vasectomy is a good option.



What is Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a medical procedure that is performed with the intention of preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. The vas deferens are tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the pouch that holds the semen before it is ejected. These are cut, making it impossible for the sperm to leave the body. Men who undertake this operation are still able to have sex. It is a form of family planning and has a good success rate.





Where is a Vasectomy Procedure Done

As the procedure is not a very complicated one, vasectomies can be done at the doctor’s office or at an outpatient surgery centre.

How is a Vasectomy Operation Performed

While vasectomies have been done under general anaesthesia, most men find it perfectly fine with having a simple local anaesthetic administered before the operation. This will eliminate the need to fast before the operation, and you will not have to worry about not being able to drive for 24 hours after the procedure either.




The typical vasectomy procedure steps begin with the doctor first making an incision in the scrotum. After this, he will locate and then lift the vas deferens to the surface and snip them in two. Finally, he will proceed to cauterize or tie their ends before stitching up the scrotum. The procedure only takes half an hour.

Diagrammatic representation of vasectomy

A non-scalpel vasectomy is another technique that doctors use to perform this procedure. It involves the urologist giving you the local anaesthesia and then using his fingers to bring the tubes close to the surface of the skin. When they are in the correct position, he will use a special tool to make a hole in the skin. Through this, he will be able to cut and then either cauterize or tie the ends of the tubes. You will not require any stitches as the hole will heal on its own. This procedure only takes fifteen minutes.





What Can You Expect After the Operation

There will most likely be a bit of pain and swelling in the area you had the operation. There may even be bruising which will fade away in about two weeks after the surgery is performed. Your urologist should give you the proper instructions for taking care of the area after the surgery that will most likely involve you having to wear tight fitting underwear or jock straps to support the scrotum, use an ice pack to numb the pain and help the swelling goes down, limit the number of activities until after you are completely healed and to get plenty of rest.

Can You Take Medications to Relive the Pain

In order to prevent your blood from thinning, it is best not to take aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen for a week before the surgery. Aspirin should be avoided for another week after the surgery, but the other two can be taken. Acetaminophen can also be taken after the surgery.




Is Vasectomy Really Effective

Vasectomy effectiveness is unrivalled when it comes to controlling fertility, but it’s not completely reliable. After the operation, there is still a chance for one in two thousand men to become fertile again at some point in the future. This happens because, over time, the cut tubes may reunite.

There have been some cases where the operation is not successful at all and sperm is still found in the semen.





What is the Recovery Time After Vasectomy Surgery

It will take you a couple of weeks to start feeling back to your old self after the procedure is done. If you have had a non-scalpel vasectomy, the recovery time will be much shorter.

Can Vasectomy Affect Male Sexuality

Male sexuality is not affected by a vasectomy apart from the fact that there is no sperm in the semen that you will eject. You will also continue to eject the same amount as before, and you will most likely not notice any change in your sex drive at all. Sex hormones such as testosterone, made by the testes, will still be passed through the blood as usual.




Intimate couple

How Soon Can You Have Sex After the Surgery

Once you are completely healed of the bruising, stitches or the hole that results from the procedure, you will be able to resume having sex. This should take a couple of weeks, but for a lot of men, they feel fit again in less than a week as long as they set aside a couple of days for complete rest.

What is the Success Rate of Vasectomy

After twelve weeks, it is often recommended that you go in for a test to ensure that your semen is sperm-free. This test can be performed after you have had ten to twelve ejaculations. If your semen is still not free of sperm, your urologist will ask you to return and take the test again at a later date. Until then, it is advisable to use another form of birth control to prevent pregnancies. This is because some of the sperm can survive in a part of the Vas Deferens for several weeks after the procedure is done.





Is it Possible to Reverse Vasectomy

Reversing a vasectomy is possible sometimes, but it is not an easy procedure, and it does not always work out. It is also very expensive. The more time that passes between the operation and the reversal operation, the less likely it will work. The reason is that the Vas Deferens tubes can deteriorate over time and also because there are some men who develop antibodies to their own sperm, which will make their sperm less effective in the long run. You should not even consider the procedure unless you are positive you do not want to have children in your future at all.
If you really do want to have this procedure done but want a backup plan, you can always speak to your urologist about storing some of your sperm in the sperm bank for future need. It is best to simply reconsider the use of other alternatives of contraception rather than undergoing a procedure that has such a big impact on your future.

What Are the Complications of the Surgery

Very few patients ever develop any complications after having this procedure. The open wounds on your scrotum may get infected, and sometimes, the tubes themselves can also become infected.
As absorbable stitches are used, there may be some expected oozing and discharge, but this should not be bloody or pussy. If you notice any pus or blood oozing from the site of the wound, you will need to have this checked by the doctor.




In a few men, a small lump may develop on the cut end of the tubes that are closer to the testes. This will not get any bigger than a pea, but for some men, it is a normal part of the healing. This is called a sperm granuloma. They heal on their own, but may sometimes require drainage.

Some men develop fevers over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and also experience extreme pain. Some may also develop scar tissue inside the scrotum, something which will have to be removed.
There may be bleeding under the skin which will clear up on its own in a few days. If it lingers, however, apply an ice compress and rest.





Are There Any Long-Term Side Effects of Vasectomy

The Vas Deferens only carries sperm and nothing else. Simply put, this means that a vasectomy will keep sperm cells out of the semen, but they will be absorbed back into the body. Vasectomy does not affect a man’s voice, facial hair, hormone production, sexual functioning or sex drive. Once, many people believed that the procedure would increase your chances of getting prostate cancer, but this is not true as no evidence has been found linking the two.

Healthy man working out with wife

What Are the Pros and Cons of Vasectomy?

Getting a vasectomy is a huge decision as it is something so permanent. This is something that will require a lot of thought from your side. Here are some pros and cons to consider:




Pros

  • If you are completely positive about not having any children, then you will feel good about this decision as you will not need to use any kind of contraceptives during sex.
  • You will have spent less on contraceptives as you will only have to make a one-time payment for the operation.
  • Your partner will not have to apply, take or insert anything before sex.
  • You can enjoy sex without worrying about any unwanted pregnancies.

Cons

  • If you are undecided and are vacillating on getting a vasectomy, this is not for you.
  • Cost of reversal is high, and the rate of success is low.
  • The sperm may still remain in certain parts of the tube that will enable it to reach the semen for a couple of months after the procedure. Carelessness during sex until you are sure that your semen is completely free of sperm may result in the very things you wanted to avoid.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about vasectomies:

1. Does vasectomy affect my sex life?

As stated above, vasectomies will not have any effect on your sex life as it only ensures that the semen is free of sperm. Everything else, from the amount of semen you ejaculate during intercourse, to your sex drive will remain the same as it always was.


2. Do I need to have consent from anyone?

While there is no legal requirement that you should have the consent of anyone to get this procedure done, some urologists prefer that you get your spouse’s signature or consent before they feel comfortable enough to go ahead with the procedure.

3. What happens to the sperm?

The sperm manufacturing is not affected and continues to be produced in the testicles as usual. The only difference is that it will not be able to move through the Vas Deferens and into the semen. Instead, they will leak out through the lower ends of the cut up Vas Deferens.

4. Does vasectomy prevent STDs?

Vasectomies do not prevent STDs from infecting a person, and so you will still need to use a condom if you are having sex with more than one partner.

5. When can I go back to my workplace?

If you have had local anaesthesia, then you can go back to work based on the limits of your pain and how much discomfort you feel. When deciding, be practical about it. If you are involved in desk work, then you will be able to go back to work within a day or two after the procedure. If you are involved in manual work and will have to lift heavy weights, it is better not to go back for at least a week.


Before going through with the procedure, make sure to think about every possible circumstance and situation that you may have to face in life and if you feel like your position on not wanting children will change. If you still feel confident that you want to get this procedure done, then go ahead and do it. Remember that you can freeze your sperm for at least ten years, so you may want to consider that option in case you ever do want to procreate in the future.

Also Read: Postpartum Tubal Ligation