Vasectomies 101

Published: July 17, 2018
man swinging two children from his arms

So, you’re considering a vasectomy. 

While the idea of a vasectomy can make men squirm, the procedure is the surgical equivalent to “a walk in the park.” That’s why millions of men across America have used it as a safe and highly effective form of birth control.

Who is it for?

A vasectomy is a semi-permanent birth control option for men who do not wish to have any more children.

What does it involve?

Vasectomies are one of the most common procedures that we see on a day-to-day basis at our outpatient surgery centers. They are often covered by health insurance and can be performed in just 15-20 minutes with the use of conscious sedation that includes a local anesthetic. (1)

Two methods (2):

Conventional vasectomy:  This procedure involves two incisions in the scrotum. The surgeon then creates a blockage in          the vas deferens to prevent sperm from passing through, and stitches the incisions closed.

No-scalpel vasectomy:  This procedure requires no incisions and is done through a tiny puncture in the scrotum. The goal is the same, to create a blockage in the vas deferens. This option usually prevents the need for stitches and speeds up recovery time.

What’s the recovery like?

This is where the perks come in. After your procedure, you can go home the same day.

Recovering from a vasectomy requires just a couple of days of laying low. Your doctor will probably recommend that you ice the surgical area and hold off on sexual activity for a couple of days. (1)

That’s right. Time on the couch, in your pajamas, taking it easy.

The good news is that you can use the recovery time to watch tv and movies, play video games and you’ll probably even be able to catch a nap.

What’s the result?

It may take several weeks to clear all of the sperm from your system after the procedure is complete.  You will need to use birth control until you test your semen  twice (at 12 and 14 weeks) after the vasectomy to ensure there are no sperm remaining in the semen – don’t worry – you can do this from home with an at-home testing kit. Only after both tests  are negative can you stop using an additional method of birth control.

Once your semen is sperm-free, you and your partner can resume sexual activity using your vasectomy as the primary form of birth control. You likely won’t notice any difference in sexual functioning, and the end result is less than a 1% chance of impregnating your partner. (1)

What if I want to have kids again?

You shouldn’t have a vasectomy as a temporary form of birth control. (1)

A vasectomy reversal is possible, but is not guaranteed.

Reversing a vasectomy is a more complicated procedure that you can discuss with one of our vasectomy reversal specialists. These urologists can examine each individual’s case and explain the likelihood of success and potential complications.

A final note…

If you have questions, concerns, or want to learn more – make an appointment with one of our highly specialized urologists. They can walk you through specifics and help you determine if a vasectomy is right for you.



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