Vasectomies are one of the most common procedures that men undergo. A form of permanent birth control, the vasectomy procedure is considered to be safer and more effective than the female equivalent (i.e. tubal ligation), especially when undergoing a no-scalpel-no-needle vasectomy.
Still, it’s not uncommon for patients and their partners to have concerns about the procedure, including the possibility of side effects or future changes of heart. As a leading vasectomy center, The San Diego Vasectomy Center welcomes any questions you may have. Here are some of the most common questions we hear from couples and individuals who are considering getting a vasectomy.
1) What is a vasectomy exactly?
A vasectomy is a procedure in which the vas deferens are severed. The vas deferens is a muscular duct that provides a pathway for sperm to travel from the testes to the urethra in the penis. When the vas deferens are cut, sperm is unable to mix into the seminal fluid, which essentially results in sterilization. You continue to experience erections and produce semen, but there are no sperm present.
2) Is a vasectomy right for me?
Before undergoing a vasectomy, it’s important for couples and individuals to understand the long-term implications of this decision. Vasectomies are considered to be a permanent form of birth control. Although vasectomies can be reversed, it’s not a 100% guarantee. If you may want to have children naturally, you and your partner should consider your options.
3) Are there any side effects or risks?
Even a minimally invasive procedure has complications, and vasectomies are no exception. Rarely, you may experience bleeding, irritation, pain, infection, and scrotal hemorrhaging following a vasectomy procedure. Before the procedure, your vasectomy surgeon will discuss these risks with you, as well as ways to prevent or reduce side effects.
4) How successful are vasectomies?
Aside from abstinence, there may be no better form of birth control than a vasectomy. They have a long-term success rate of 99%, with a long-term failure rate of 1 in 2,000 men. Pregnancies typically occur because patients have unprotected intercourse before the procedure’s effectiveness has been confirmed.
5) When will I know if my vasectomy was successful?
Typically, about 12 weeks after your vasectomy procedure, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with your doctor to check your semen. If your semen is free of any sperm, the vasectomy was successful.
6) Is there a link between vasectomies and testosterone production?
Vasectomies do not have a negative impact on testosterone or libido. You’ll still maintain blood flow to or from the testes, and your penis’ nerves are unaffected.
7) How Soon Afterward Can I Have Sex?
You should wait until the surgical site heals – usually 3-7 days – before resuming any sexual activity. However, it’s imperative that you and/or your partner continue to use protection (e.g. condoms, birth control pills, etc.) until a semen analysis confirms that there is no sperm present in the ejaculate. This usually takes about three months after a vasectomy has been performed.
Vasectomies are also only effective in preventing pregnancy and do not provide any protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you are engaging in sexual activity where the transmission of STDs is possible, you should continue to wear condoms.
8) Will insurance cover my vasectomy?
Generally, a portion, if not all of a vasectomy’s costs are covered by health insurance. Check that your provider accepts your insurance, as there may be different co-pays, waiting periods, or other qualifications.
9) Can I freeze my sperm before a vasectomy?
If considering a vasectomy, you can freeze sperm samples for future fertility procedures, like in vitro fertilization (IVF), especially if a future vasectomy reversal procedure doesn’t work.
Learn What to Expect From a Vasectomy Procedure
A vasectomy provides men with a safe, effective method for permanent sterilization. If you have any questions, or you’re interested in undergoing a no-needle or no-scalpel vasectomy, we encourage you to contact The San Diego Vasectomy Center for more details.