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What Is A Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a very common outpatient procedure for sterilization in men and is nearly 100% effective. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes and has a very low risk of complications or side effects. Steven Mindrup, Board-Certified Urologist, further discusses vasectomy procedures below.

How does a vasectomy work?

A vasectomy sterilizes a man by preventing sperm from mixing with semen during ejaculation. It does this by closing off the vasa deferentia, two tubes that the sperm move through during ejaculation. During the operation, the doctor may either tie the tubes or seal them with an electric current.

How effective is a vasectomy?

According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, it has been estimated that only about 15 out of 10,000 couples get pregnant during the first year after a vasectomy.

A vasectomy doesn't work right away, however. According to the American Urological Association, some men may still have sperm in their semen three months after their procedure. So even after having a vasectomy, you'll need to continue using birth control until tests show that your semen is sperm-free.

What are the risks?

After surgery, you will probably need to rest for a day or two. But you should be completely recovered within a week.

Some men have minor side effects including:

  • Infection or swelling.
  • Bleeding under the skin that causes swelling and bruising.
  • A sperm leak. Sperm leaking from the tubes into surrounding tissue could cause a small lump that may need to be surgically removed.

These problems are rare and usually go away with simple treatment.

Will anything else change?

The only change a vasectomy should make in your life is that you will no longer be fertile. You shouldn't notice any difference in your sex drive or your sexual performance. And having a vasectomy won't change any of your male traits, such as your ability to grow facial hair or your voice.

Another thing a vasectomy won't do is protect you from sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV—the virus that causes AIDS.

Is a vasectomy right for you?

If you're certain that you don't want to have any more children, a vasectomy may be the right form of contraception for you and your partner.

A vasectomy is a simple operation that makes a man infertile. The procedure is usually done in a urologist's office and the patient can go home shortly after the procedure.

The operation is safe, easy and effective. But it's also permanent. Men who are considering a vasectomy should do so carefully. There's no guaranteed way to reverse the operation.

What should you know before you decide?

Before you make the decision, remember, the operation is usually permanent. In some cases, surgery can reverse a vasectomy, but the operation often doesn't work.

It's also possible to store semen in a sperm bank in case you want to have children later on. But there's no guarantee that the sperm you store will successfully fertilize an egg in the future.

You may want to ask yourself the following questions before making your decision. What if:

  • Your current relationship ends and you have a new partner who wants to have a child?
  • One or more of your children dies?
  • You or your partner start making more money and are able to support a larger family?
  • You and your partner become lonely when your children grow up and leave home?

If you find it difficult to decide, consider discussing your thoughts with your doctor.

What should you expect?

When calling the Center for Specialty Care to schedule a vasectomy, you will first schedule a consult appointment. During the consult, the urologist will discuss the procedure, potential complications, and alternative options, along with some paperwork to complete. You will then schedule an appointment for the procedure.

The procedure itself will take approximately 30 minutes. You will be able to drive yourself home. However, some men prefer slight sedation to help them relax prior to the procedure. If you opt for medication, you will want to arrange for someone to drive you home. You will be able to go home same-day.

After the procedure, we recommend resting for a day or two and keeping ice on the area to reduce any potential swelling.

If you are interested in scheduling a vasectomy consult with a member of the board-certified team of urologist at the Center for Specialty Care, call 608.357.2525 or complete the request appointment form at the link below.

Request An Appointment