HEALTH & WELLNESS
Male Vasectomy: A Birth Control Option for Men to Seriously Consider
A male vasectomy is a method of birth control which severs or obstructs the vas deferens (the tubes which connect the testes to the prostate) and thus prevents sperm from appearing in the ejaculate.
Why Do Men Have This Done?
Men may get a vasectomy for a number of reasons. Most notable among them being that don’t want to have children or do not want any more children. Reasons for that decision will, of course, vary.
How Is This Procedure Performed?
While techniques vary, there are a few significant types of vasectomy procedures, all of which are minimally invasive. In fact, the vasectomy only lasts about thirty minutes.
Fascial interposition – Using this technique, a surgeon punctures the scrotum to cut the vas deferens and places a barrier between either end. In some variations of this technique, the vas deferens are further cauterized to ensure the procedure’s success.
Open-ended – Like other methods, this technique severs the vas deferens, but doesn’t seal the testicular end allowing sperm to flow freely into the scrotum. Since mature sperm isn’t restricted to the testes, men often don’t experience testicular pain as some others who have other types of procedures.
Vasectomy occlusion – There are a couple variations on this, but the principle is the same. To prevent the flow of sperm to the prostate, plugs are inserted into the vas deferens. Though depending on the specific technique used, an incision may be made into the abdomen rather than the scrotum.
Can a Vasectomy Be Reversed?
Yes. While a vasectomy is supposed to be a permanent solution, it can be undone. Just like the original procedure, a reversal is a relatively simple procedure, though specifics will vary based on the type of vasectomy performed.
However, unlike the original vasectomy, reversals can lead to more complications such as additional scarring, reversal failure due to complications and rejection of the man’s own sperm which can inhibit fertility.
If you do want to have a vasectomy, but suspect that you may later want children and don’t want to go through the burden of having the procedure reversed, you should consider cryo-preserving sperm for artificial insemination.
Vasectomy Side Effects
No matter the technique used, male vasectomies typically don’t have any severe consequences. In fact, since the surgery is so quick and simple, it’s generally considered to be safer and is also markedly cheaper than female vasectomies. Consequently, physicians recommend that men become surgically sterilized rather than women.
That said, it is common for men to experience mild pain, swelling and even blood in semen. However, don’t panic as these symptoms are normal and so long as they don’t persist, shouldn’t be cause for alarm. Other temporary side effects include bruising of the scrotum, blood clotting inside the scrotum and infection at the incision site.
Depending on the technique used, a man may experience minor scarring on the scrotum as well as discomfort in the testes after ejaculation. Rarely, chronic pain, cyst formation on the testes and scrotal swelling may manifest.
How to Prepare for the Effects of Surgery
Since you may suffer minor discomfort after surgery, you may want to prepare by wearing a jock strap or tight underwear after your vasectomy. To reduce swelling and numb pain you may also want to have a cold pack on hand, too.
After the surgery, limit the amount of strenuous activity that you engage in. And as with other procedures, the best post-surgical remedy you can employ is to get plenty of rest.
When Long After the Vasectomy Can I Have Sex?
The recovery time for the average man is going to vary, but generally, we recommend that you abstain for a few days even if you feel up to the task of performing. Following this, you still may have sufficient levels of sperm in your system which may get someone pregnant. It will require 10 to 20 rounds of ejaculation to clear it.
After you’ve ejaculated that many times you should have your semen checked by a doctor to determine if your ejaculate contains viable sperm. To put a different metric on it, it’ll take about three months for your viable sperm count to fall to negligible levels.
Keep in mind that if you aren’t in a monogamous relationship or don’t know the status of your partners, you should still use a condom to protect yourself from sexual diseases.
Does a Vasectomy Affect a Man’s Sex Drive?
One of the most prominent concerns men have when it comes to getting a vasectomy is the procedure’s effects on a man’s sex life.
Don’t worry. You will still be able to ejaculate, and the appearance, texture and taste of your semen will still look the same – the only difference is, it won’t get anyone pregnant.
Getting a vasectomy does not diminish your testosterone or other hormone levels in any way. Most men are completely satisfied with their vasectomy, and only a minority regret getting it to the point where they opt for a reversal.
It is worth noting that younger men tend to exhibit signs of regret over getting a vasectomy.
Given the intended effects of the procedure, your sex life has arguably been enhanced. After all, you no longer have to worry about anything to do with pregnancy or getting someone pregnant. The intimacy between you and your partner becomes far more open, more intimate and makes room for spontaneity.
Vasectomy Effectiveness and Success Rate
Rarely, a vasectomy procedure isn’t performed correctly. The vast majority of vasectomies are successful, and the efficacy rate exceeds 99%.