A vasectomy is a form of birth control that prevents sperm from being released during ejaculation. It is a routine procedure of about 30 mins done under local anaesthesia. The vas deferens tube is cut or blocked preventing the sperm from mixing with semen. So, the person still orgasms and ejaculates, but sperm is not present in the semen. The body instead absorbs the sperm.
After the vasectomy procedure, the patient is advised to take it easy for the first week, so no exertion or heavy lifting to keep the wound from reopening. The wound also needs to be kept dry, so no full-showers for the first three days. Painkillers and antibiotics will also be prescribed.
Benefits of a vasectomy for men
Vasectomies are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy
Vasectomies are incredibly convenient. For women, pill contraceptives must be taken daily, if it’s condoms they have to be used every time when you have intercourse. Vasectomies on the other hand are a get-it-and-forget-it form of birth control.
Vasectomies can make your sex life better. A vasectomy does not affect your hormones or sex drive. It also takes the burden of preventing pregnancy off your partner which can strengthen your relationship and make intimacy more enjoyable. It also frees you to be more spontaneous during sex without worrying about birth control.
A vasectomy is a quick 20-30 minute outpatient procedure and is easier, safer, and less expensive than a tubal ligation which is having a woman’s tubes tied. The procedure does not require anaesthesia and has a quick recovery time. Only 48 hours of recovery time is required compared to 7 days required for tubal ligation.
There are no scalpel vasectomy options available. This option is even far less invasive and has fewer risks associated with it.
The vasectomy procedure is almost always reversible. While it should be considered a permanent form of birth control, of the half a million people who get them in the US, about 6% change their minds in the course of their lifetimes and get them reversed. But you can ask for the one that cannot be reversed.
Benefits of a vasectomy for women
The female partners of men who choose to get a vasectomy also stand to benefit in a few ways:
- Getting to stop taking hormonal birth control methods which have many side effects of varying severity
- Avoid more invasive tubal ligation
- Prevent pregnancy and the side-effects of tubal ligation including ectopic pregnancies
Precautions and potential risks of a vasectomy
Complications are not common, but they may occur. Precautions to keep in mind and risks to be aware of including:
- Unlike condoms, a vasectomy does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
- Reversal may be possible in some circumstances but it’s not always an option and maybe more complicated than the initial procedure.
- You should continue using another form of birth control for about 10-20 ejaculations or about 3 months after the vasectomy because there may still be some sperm reserves in the seminal vesicle. If you have sex during this time without protection your partner could get pregnant.
Potential short-term risks of vasectomy include:
- Bleeding inside the scrotum
- Blood in the semen
Long-term issues that may occur but are rare include:
- Fluid buildup in the testicle
- Chronic pain
- Your partner could get pregnant
Myths about vasectomies
Myth: A vasectomy will affect your sexual performance
It will not affect libido, or sex drive or testosterone levels.
Myth: A vasectomy will prevent you from ejaculation
Nothing changes in your ejaculation. You ejaculate just like you used to.
Myth: A vasectomy will permanently damage your sexual organs
The procedure is directed only towards the vas deferens tube and does not involve any other sexual organs.
Myth: A vasectomy will increase your risk of certain cancers and heart disease
There is no proven link between this procedure and increased risk of cancers or heart disease
Myth: A vasectomy will cause severe pain
You may feel minor discomfort similar to pulling or tugging during the vasectomy procedure. Severe pain is extremely rare.
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