Half a million men in the U.S. undergo a vasectomy each year, and it has now become the most commonly performed urological procedure. By comparison though, three times more women undergo permanent contraception. With tubal ligation comes more health risks for the female because it is a more invasive procedure. In addition It is much more costly, and it requires a longer recovery time. What’s wrong with this picture?
It’s time to clear up some myths about vasectomy and provide some factual information that every man should know.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Vasectomies
Before your vasectomy, be sure to always ask your doctor these questions before your procedure.
- What are my options for permanent birth control?
- Is a permanent option the right one for me?
- Are there other options that I should consider before I make the decision?
- What type of birth control, permanent or nonpermanent, would you recommend?
Ask these questions in the beginning. They will give you a good starting place to determining if permanent birth control is the right choice for you.
Clearing The Air About Vasectomies
For many men just hearing the “V word” makes them cringe. It conjures up all sorts of misconceptions about how it will affect their masculinity. Here are the facts:
- A vasectomy will not affect a man’s virility or his testosterone level.
- He will still produce sperm. It will just not be able to get into the semen.
- There will be NO impact on his libido, sex drive, or sexual activity.
- According to the American Urological Association, there are no long term health risks, including the risk for prostate cancer.
- It is the most dependable form of birth control with 99% effectiveness.
A vasectomy is a short 10 – 15-minute procedure performed either in the doctor’s office or at an outpatient clinic. A local anesthetic numbs the scrotum, and the Doctor makes a tiny puncture, removes the tube that carries the semen from the testicle, known as the vas deferens, cuts it, and seals it back up. There are no stitches required, but “ big boy pants” are.
Some even say a bee sting hurts more.
Life After a Vasectomy
Take a day or so to relax at home. Use ice to control any scrotum discomfort or swelling. Tylenol is recommended for pain. There may be a bit of blood in semen at first, but this is normal.
Wait a day to return to work, and wait at least a week before returning to normal physical activities. Wear snug underwear or a jock strap and keep the area clean.
Wait one week before having sex. In addition, for the next three months men should use a backup form of contraception as there will still be sperm left in the sperm ducts. Ejaculate at least 15-20 times during this time period while the sperm count diminishes. Finally, return to the doctor for a semen analysis to be sure the sperm count is zero.
Some Final Thoughts
Think it through, and seriously consider if this is the right decision for you. Vasectomy can be reversed, but it is extremely expensive. You can always utilize a sperm bank in the event you may want to have children later in life.
A vasectomy does not protect you from sexual transmitted infections. You can still transmit and acquire an STI so use a condom with all new partners.
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More questions about a vasectomy? Contact Dr. Berry today!