If you and your partner are looking for a permanent method of contraception, you might want to consider getting a vasectomy.
What Is a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a permanent male sterilization procedure. The term “vasectomy” comes from the name of the tubes (vas deferens) in the scrotum that get cut during the procedure. This simple surgery can be performed by a doctor in an office, hospital, or clinic. The procedure is very quick, and you can go home the same day. A vasectomy is extremely effective in preventing pregnancy – almost 100%.
The Two Types of Vasectomies
There are two types of vasectomies commonly available: the conventional vasectomy and the no-scalpel vasectomy.
1. Conventional Vasectomy
With the conventional vasectomy, your skin is cut so that the small tubes in your scrotum that carry sperm (vas deferens) can be accessed. The vas deferens tubes are cut or closed so that sperm cannot leave your body and cause pregnancy. The tubes and skin are then stitched closed and left to heal.
2. No-Scalpel Vasectomy
Instead of the skin being cut to access the vas deferens tubes, with a no-scalpel vasectomy, only a small puncture hole is made in the skin. The no-scalpel method lowers the risk of infection and other complications and generally takes less time to heal. Though the no-scalpel vasectomy can reduce complications, many men still have the traditional procedure done due to factors like cost and doctor preference.
The Effectiveness of Vasectomies
A vasectomy offers many advantages as a method of contraception. The main advantage is its effectiveness. Like a tubal ligation procedure for women, a vasectomy is a one-time procedure that provides permanent contraception. But when compared to a tubal ligation, a vasectomy is more effective, can be performed outpatient, is less complex, and often is more affordable
The main reason the vasectomy procedure is so effective is because it is designed with permanence in mind. Unlike other forms of contraception, a vasectomy is a long-term plan.
A vasectomy procedure is more than 99.9% effective in preventing pregnancies.
Although vasectomies are known for their effectiveness, it is important to bear in mind that it takes a considerable amount of time after the procedure for semen to be completely free of sperm. Everyone’s experience is different, but in some cases, it can take a few months to get sperm-free semen.
It is likely that two to three months after you have your vasectomy procedure, your doctor will ask you to come in and provide a semen sample that can be tested . It is best to avoid engaging in sex without another form of contraception until after you take this sperm analysis test and are assured by your doctor that there is no sperm in your semen. Don’t want to make the trip back to your doctor’s office? Test your sperm at home with SpermCheck Vasectomy.
Get Informed Before Your Vasectomy
Considering a vasectomy is not something a person should decide in haste. You and your partner should consider whether this is the right choice for you. Vasectomies are meant to be permanent. A vasectomy reversal procedure can be challenging and unsuccessful. The success rate for a reversal varies largely from person to person, but even with a successful outcome, difficulties in achieving a pregnancy are more common. You should only undergo a vasectomy if you are 100% sure that you are looking for a permanent method of contraception.
5 Common Misconceptions About Vasectomies
Common vasectomy misconceptions include:
1. It Takes a Long Time to Recover from a Vasectomy
Many people believe that the healing time after a vasectomy procedure is quite long, which is not the case for most people at all. Most people that undergo a vasectomy fully recover in about a week.
2. A Vasectomy Is Extremely Painful
You can expect some discomfort and pain with almost any surgery, even those that are minimally invasive. With a vasectomy, this temporary discomfort is often the most pain a person will experience throughout the process. While some patients note feeling sensations of pressure, reports of extreme pain associated with a vasectomy are quite uncommon. Typically, over-the-counter pain medicine is more than enough to keep someone recovering from a vasectomy feeling comfortable.
3. Vasectomies Are Not Covered by Insurance
The price for a vasectomy varies depending on many distinct factors. These factors include the doctor performing the procedure, the patient’s insurance provider (or lack thereof), and more. For those who are insured, often your insurance company will cover the procedure partially, and in some cases fully.
4. Vasectomies Negatively Affect Intimacy
After you are fully recovered from your vasectomy, there should be no aspect of your intimate life that is hindered. Although it is important to note that you should still use a form of contraception until you and your doctor have tested and ensured your semen is free of sperm.
5. Vasectomies Are Unreliable
Post-vasectomy fertilizations are extremely unlikely. Although shortly after the vasectomy procedure, sperm cells can still be found in semen. This is why it is so important to have your semen tested. Once your doctor tests your semen and confirms there are no sperm cells present, the likelihood of egg fertilization is near zero. The best practice is to check your semen for sperm once a year to minimize the risk of pregnancy from post-vasectomy recanalization. Check out SpermCheck Vasectomy and get the answers you’re looking for from the comfort of home.
Potential Vasectomy Complications
Minor vasectomy complications can include:
Any procedure has the potential to cause pain, and in rare cases, residual pain may occur. Your testicles are sensitive organs, so temporary pain is not an uncommon occurrence. Very rarely, some men experience persistent pain after the procedure, called Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome.
You may notice that a hard and potentially painful lump in the testicles has formed. This lump is most likely a sperm granuloma. A sperm granuloma is caused by sperm leaking from the severed vas deferens. A sperm granuloma is not dangerous and is almost always absorbed by the body. Support for the scrotum and mild painkillers (such as acetaminophen) can relieve symptoms.