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What is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception. It is done by cutting and sealing the small tubes (vas deferens) in your scrotum that carry sperm, so that sperm can’t leave your body and cause pregnancy.

There are two types of vasectomies:

Conventional vasectomy: the urologist will make one or two incisions in the scrotum to reach vas deferens and may remove a small piece of each tube leaving a short gap between the two ends. The urologist will cut the ends of the vas and tie the cut ends. The scrotal cuts will be closed with dissolvable stitches or allowed to close on their own.

No-scalpel vasectomy: the urologist feels for each vas deferens under your scrotum and holds it in place with a small clamp. A small hole is made in your skin, stretch it open, and lift the vas deferens out and then he’ll cut it and seal it with searing, stitches, or both.

How does a vasectomy work?

A vasectomy blocks each vas deferens tube, keeping sperm out of your semen. After the procedure the testes still make sperm, but they are soaked up by the body. After 3months of vasectomy, your semen won’t contain any sperm, but you’ll still have the same amount of semen as before.

How effective is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy procedures are very effective almost 100%. In some very rare cases, the tubes can rejoin and sperm could leave your body and cause pregnancy.

Sperm can still come out after the procedure for a little while. So be sure to get a follow-up test. The doctor will do a semen analysis test to check for sperm in your semen.

What are the side effects of vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a very safe procedure. You might have mild pain along with swelling in the scrotum. You may have little bleeding. These are not serious and don’t happen often.

A few other issues are possible but are rare-

  • Discomfort in a testicle
  • Sperm granuloma (a hard lump caused by leaking sperm)
  • Spermatocele (a cyst in the tube that collects sperm)
  • Hydrocele (a sac of fluid near the testicle which causes swelling in the scrotum)

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

A potential concern with this procedure is that the patient might want to father a child. Although a reversal vasectomy procedure can be done, there is no guarantee that it will work. It is more complicated than vasectomy and it is very expensive.

What are the benefits of a vasectomy?

This procedure is very effective for birth control.

It is less likely to cause any problems than a woman having her tubes tied (aka tubal ligation). It is less expensive.

Many men have concerns about vasectomy which are unfounded -

The procedure will not affect your sex drive or your masculinity in any way, apart from preventing you from fathering a child.

A vasectomy will not damage your sexual organs permanently.

There is no proven link that vasectomy increases the risk of certain cancers.

There is no link between vasectomy and heart problems.

It will not cause severe pain, like with any surgery there will be mild pain and pulling-like feeling during the surgery. After the surgery, the pain will reduce in few days.

Recovery after a vasectomy?

you need to rest for one day. You may feel some pain and discomfort but it will be mild. You may have bruising or swelling for a few days. Treat swelling and pain with an ice pack and wear snug underwear for support. Don’t exercise or hard physical work for a week.