- A vasectomy is one of the most popular forms of contraception in the United States and worldwide. Each year, more than half million men choose to get a vasectomy.
- The No Scalpel Vasectomy procedure was developed in the early 1970s in China. Almost 20 million No-Scalpel Vasectomies have been performed around the world.
- Sterilization for a man (vasectomy) is significantly less expensive than for a woman (tubal ligation), which may be up to five times more costly.
- Vasectomies are nearly 100 percent effective and safe. They don’t reduce a man’s sexual drive, virility, or ability to have or enjoy sex.
- Most vasectomies are done in the doctors’ offices. A No-Scalpel Vasectomy takes only about 20 minutes.
- Most patients can go back to work in three days.
- There may be little or no cost to you since most health care insurance programs cover vasectomies.
Limitations of Vasectomy:
- Not 100% reversible
- Must use other forms of birth-control until sperm-free.
- Does not prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).
Advantages of Vasectomy…
- Low one-time expense often covered by insurance companies
- More dependable than any other form of contraception including female sterilization.
- Eliminates risks associated with birth control pills or shots and the IUD.
- Vasectomy reversals are less costly and more successful than tubal ligation reversals (see Vasectomy Reversal).
- No need for inconvenient and less dependable methods, so there are…
no more worries!!!!
Risk and Complications
Although a vasectomy is one of the safest procedures, there are still chances of minor complications, such as infection, bleeding or transient bruising, temporary swelling or fluid accumulation. Some patients experience a dull ache in the scrotal region, but this can be treated with medication.
The potential risks and complications:
- Bleeding under the skin that may cause scrotum area to look bruised. Hematoma (collection of blood) in the scrotum that should be reported immediately.
- Infection occurs in the wound or inside scrotum, more common if there is a hematoma (blood collecting) beneath the skin, can be treated with antibiotics, hematoma evacuation, I&D drainage, and antimicrobial creams.
- Postoperative acute pain (mild) for a few days or occasional chronic dull ache (congestion) in the testicles, usually disappears within six months.
- Epididymitis, when the larger tube behind the testicle becomes inflamed and swollen, can be treated with heat application and medication.
- Failure if the man has sex before all the sperm is confirmed to be gone.
- Prostate cancer, the recent study showed there is no increased risk of prostate cancer if a vasectomy is done.
- Sexual difficulties for the man due to psychological and emotional responses to a vasectomy.
- Sperm granulomas, a rare sperm collection from the testicular cut end of the vas, producing harmless lump.
Psychological issue related to vasectomy
Almost all men fear the idea of having surgery anywhere near their genital regions. However, it is important to understand that vasectomies are generally less painful than surgical options for the woman, and they are also less expensive with fewer complications. Patients are recommended to ask questions and consult doctors about any risks and concerns in order to relieve anxiety. Vasectomies are often the best option that benefits the man as well as his loved ones. Many men have the following common fears.
- Pain – Local anesthetic completely numbs the area, so there should not be any discomfort or sensations during the procedure. If patients feel mild discomfort the first couple days after the anesthetic wears off, medications or ice packs can be used.
- Sexual dysfunction – A vasectomy does not reduce a man’s sexual drive or his ability to have an erection or enjoy sex. The procedure only blocks sperm and simply prevents the possibility of conceiving a child. There’s no effect on “masculinity,” The man’s body continues to produce hormones as before; testosterone continues to be produced and released into the bloodstream.
- Procedure failure – Vasectomies are almost 100 percent effect and very reliable. The risk of failure is under 0.1% in the literature. There is no single case report from hundreds of vasectomies performed in Dr. Shu’s office over the past 10 years.
- Complications – There are few risks involved with vasectomies. These include infection or swelling around the incision or inside the scrotum, bruising or inflammation and the development of a small lump due to a sperm leak.
- Absence from work – Patients typically return to work in three days of surgery, they are advised to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for 1-2 weeks.
Psychological Effects of Vasectomy
Men have been surveyed about their vasectomy satisfaction since the mid 1970’s. The goal was to find out whether they were happy over all with their decision to have a vasectomy based on their sexual satisfaction and happiness. 90% agreed that their sexual desires and satisfaction levels were the same or better than before they had their vasectomy. 7-10% of men surveyed regretted their decision. The first surveys being done were just asking whether men were satisfied or dis-satisfied with their procedure. It did not ask about how they were feeling about it.
When the men were interviewed about their feelings and the psychological aspect was looked at, it was found there were valid reasons for men regretting their decision. Some were feeling bullied by their wife into having the procedure done. Others felt good about their decision but major changes in their life made them feel regretful. Life changes such as divorce and re-marrying or re-partnering with someone have a big impact on men especially if their new spouse or partner wants to have children. Up to 5% of men have a vasectomy reversal. A higher percentage would probably have a reversal done if it wasn’t for the cost and low success rates. Men who are typically younger when they have a vasectomy tend to have more regrets down the road.
Dr. Steven Shu of One Stop Medical Center located in Edina, MN always requires a consultation and likes to make sure that both partners are in agreement before doing a vasectomy. It is important to have both couples on the same page in order to maintain high satisfaction levels in the emotional and sexual relationship.
Vasectomy and Sexual Heath
Many men in Minnesota worry about how a vasectomy will affect their sex drive. Will I be able to have an erection, or ejaculate? How will it affect being able to have an orgasm? Will I still have a sex drive? The good news is that there is no relationship between a vasectomy and sex drive because there are no physiological changes that take place during a vasectomy, and the testicles and adrenal glands continue to manufacture testosterone hormone. Testosterone also controls masculinity that is why the sex drive and masculinity are not affected by the surgery, either. It will not interfere with the blood vessels or the nerves that are responsible for having an erection and ejaculation. Men after vasectomy in Minneapolis and St Paul areas will still have the same ability to maintain an erection and reach the orgasm. The color and consistency of the semen after vasectomy are not changed since the semen mainly comes from the prostrate and seminal vesicles which are not affected by the vasectomy.
It takes a few months of testing to determine that there are no more sperm present in the semen. Once that is established couples do not have to worry about using another method of birth control. It has been reported by both men and women that their sex life improved after a vasectomy, most of the vasectomy patients in One Stop Medical Center reported similar results. There is no more anxiety over an unplanned pregnancy and the sex drive has not decreased.
Besides the initial mild swelling and aching right after no scalpel vasectomy, most men recover very quickly and return to work in a few days. Very few men in Minnesota may experience occasional mild aching in their testicles during sexual intercourse within a few months of vasectomy.
What a vasectomy does is prevent the sperm from being able to fertilize an egg. A man will no longer be able to father a child. Since a vasectomy is more of a permanent form of sterilization, it should be seriously and thoroughly discussed between husband and wife and medical professionals in the initial counseling, and all concerns such as; lowered sex drive, any pain related to the surgery, and reversibility, should be addressed.