Vasectomy is a common, safe, and effective procedure performed on men who no longer want to have children.
Do not have a vasectomy unless you are absolutely certain you will not want to have children in the future. While it is true that some vasectomies can be reversed, the procedure for doing so is difficult, expensive, not always effective, and usually not covered by insurance. It must be performed in a hospital. For these reasons, we consider vasectomy a permanent procedure.
Other reasons to delay or reconsider a vasectomy include: infection of or around the genitals, a bleeding disorder, and other conditions which should be revealed by a pre-procedure screening and discussed with you by your doctor.
If you do decide a vasectomy is right for you, your doctor will conduct a half hour pre-vasectomy consultation to discuss with you the specifics of the procedure, how to prepare for it, and how to recover from it.
You will be lightly sedated during the procedure. Medicine will be provided to help you relax and a local anesthetic will be used to numb the scrotum.
Once the scrotum has been numbed, the doctor will make a small opening in the scrotum, using the no scalpel technique, and he will remove a small part of the vas deferens on each side. At this point, you may feel a pull or tug, but it should not be uncomfortable. A surgical clip will be placed and the vas deferens will be sealed shut with cautery.
Immediately following the procedure, you will lie down for a few hours, icing the affected area. You may have some bruising, which should slowly lighten and then disappear. Most patients are able to return to normal, non-strenuous work in 2 to 3 days.
Vasectomies are not effective immediately. You may need to ejaculate many times before all sperm is cleared from the reproductive system. For that reason, continue to use another form of birth control when resuming sexual activity. Your doctor will ask you to bring in samples of your semen, periodically, after the operation. Only after you have produced a sperm-free sample will you be cleared to stop using all other forms of birth control.
Another type of vasectomy, called ‘no-scalpel’ vasectomy, involves a smaller incision and, usually, a shorter recovery time. To discuss this and other options with your doctor, please click here to make an appointment.