If you and your partner feel like your family is complete or you do not wish to have children at all, a vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control to consider.
This surgical procedure renders a man sterile and unable to impregnate his partner. Although it prevents sperm from leaving your testes, you still have a satisfying sexual experience as it doesn’t affect the ability to have an orgasm in any way. It requires only a simple outpatient procedure and is nearly 100 percent effective after several months.
Although it is rare, a man’s vas deferens could rejoin after a vasectomy and he would no longer be sterile. These are the tubes that allow sperm to travel from the testes to the penis. It is also possible that some sperm could escape immediately after a vasectomy and for several months afterwards. For this reason, urologists recommend that couples use a back-up form of birth control until the man produces an ejaculate sample with no live sperm in it. This usually happens at a follow-up appointment several months after the surgery.
What to Expect During Your Vasectomy
A nurse will wash and then shave your scrotum at the start of the procedure. You will also receive local anesthesia to numb the area so you don’t feel pain. If you do feel discomfort, you can ask for additional anesthesia. You will continue to remain aware of sound, touch, and movement even though you can’t feel the surgical cuts.
Once the surgeon knows that you’re comfortable, he or she will make one or two small cuts in your scrotum to make it possible to reach the vas deferens. The surgeon will then burn the ends of the vas deferens and use a suture to tie them shut. He or she needs to repeat the process for the vas deferens of both the left and right testicles. You may receive dissolvable stiches on your scrotum or the surgeon may decide to allow the tiny cuts to close naturally.
Some men prefer to get a no-scalpel vasectomy instead. For this procedure, a urologist feels for the vas deferens underneath the skin of the scrotum. Once located, he or she holds it in place with a small clamp. The urologist then creates a tiny hole in the skin, stretches it open, and pulls the vas deferens out. He or she then cuts, ties or burns it, and returns it to the original location.
Recovering from a Vasectomy
You should expect to feel sore for a day or two after this procedure. It is common for men to take Friday off work to have the vasectomy and then go back on Monday. Over-the-counter pain relievers are typically adequate to control pain. Be sure to wear loose clothing such as sweatpants and a supportive device around your penis and scrotum if you wish. Placing an ice pack over the area can also help to reduce swelling and pain.
It is important to avoid sex and other activities that place pressure on your reproductive organs for several days after a vasectomy. Most men can resume a sexual relationship with their partner approximately one week after the procedure. However, keep in mind that you may have live sperm in your ejaculate for several weeks or months after the procedure. To avoid getting your partner pregnant, one of you must use a different form of birth control until your urologist gives you the all-clear.
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A vasectomy can be an ideal option if you and your partner are certain that you’re done having children. Each of you should feel 100 percent sure that your family is complete since it isn’t always possible to reverse a vasectomy. We invite both of you to schedule an appointment with the urology department at United Hospital Center (UHC) to learn more about this procedure.
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