What is a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a permanent, male contraceptive procedure. The procedure prevents sperm from leaving the body by sealing or cutting off the pathway.
A vasectomy is the most common method of male contraception in this country. It does not change the hormonal function of the testes and in terms of sexual performance, vasectomy has no negative effects.
How is a Vasectomy Done?
First, a local anesthetic will be applied to the scrotal area. A small incision is made into the scrotum. The physician is then able to grasp the vas deferens and remove a small section. The ends are sealed by either cauterization (a type of burning that forms scar tissue) or a suture tie with dissolvable sutures.
The procedure usually takes about 15-30 minutes. You will be given a prescription for pain medication.
Getting Ready for a Vasectomy
- It is necessary to shave the scrotum on the morning of the procedure. Do not do this the day before because of the possibility of developing an infection or inflammation from razor burn.
- Wear loose fitting clothing, you may bring a jock strap if you have one or briefs for scrotal support.
Ask someone to accompany you and drive you home. A small number of men feel somewhat uneasy after the procedure.
After a Vasectomy
- You should go home and get off your feet. It is not necessary for you to be bedridden, but excessive motion and movement can increase your chance for swelling.
- Use an ice pack, 20 minutes on then 40 minutes off for the first 48 hours.
- Do not shower for 24 hours and do not take a bath or go swimming for at least a week.
- Postpone sexual activity for at least a week.
You will be asked to follow up in the office 6-8 weeks from the procedure with your first semen sample.
Do not engage in unprotected sexual intercourse without birth control until your physician tells you that all sperm are gone. While this is rare, you are not considered safe until you have had two negative sperm samples in a row.
Is a Vasectomy Reversible?
A vasectomy should be considered to be a permanent choice for birth control. However, there are special circumstances that might warrant the reverse of the vasectomy. A vasectomy reversal is more costly and not always covered by insurance. You may discuss other specifics with your physician.
If You are Considering a Vasectomy
Contact us to talk to our experienced urologists, who can help answer your questions.