Vasectomy is a minor surgery that is a permanent form of birth control for males. The procedure blocks sperm from reaching the semen, preventing pregnancy. Getting a vasectomy is an option many men consider if they decide to not have any more children or not have children at all. Preparation for a vasectomy, side effects and the recovery process are all items to consider.
Vasectomy Preparation and Procedure
Before a vasectomy, you will have a consultation with your primary care provider or a urology provider to ensure you fully understand the procedure and its implications. During this appointment, you can ask your doctor questions, address any concerns you may have, and decide if it is right for you.
During the vasectomy, a small incision is made in the scrotum to access the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra. The vas deferens are carefully pulled through the incision and isolated from the surrounding tissues. The surgeon cuts and seals the vas deferens, preventing the passage of sperm. The incision in the scrotum is closed with stitches or surgical glue.
After the procedure, you will be monitored for a short period before being discharged.
Vasectomy Recovery and Aftercare
These recovery and aftercare steps can help promote healing and minimize discomfort after a vasectomy:
- Apply ice packs for about 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, for the first 48 hours after the procedure to reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort.
- Wear supportive underwear or a jockstrap and avoid tight-fitting underwear or pants.
- Your healthcare provider may prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort following the procedure. It's important to take the medication as directed.
- Rest and avoid strenuous activities for a few days after the procedure.
- Follow post-operative instructions for wound care, bathing, sexual activity and schedule a follow-up appointment.
Risks and Benefits of Vasectomy
The risks of a vasectomy include infection at the incision site, hematoma or bleeding, and chronic pain or discomfort. These risks can occur, but they are generally rare. It's important to discuss these risks with your primary care provider during the vasectomy consultation.
Vasectomy offers several benefits; primarily that it is a highly effective form of birth control with a success rate of over 99%. Vasectomy does not affect a man's ability to have sexual intercourse. The procedure cuts off the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra, but it does not affect the production of hormones or the release of semen during ejaculation.
If you are interested in a vasectomy procedure consult with your primary care provider.