Considered a type of permanent male birth control, vasectomies are safe, effective, and reliable. While often performed on married men who already have children or are child-free, it’s becoming increasingly common for single men to consider getting vasectomies. However, is the decision right for you? You may also be unsure of your future, and your motivation for having the procedure. As such, it is important to educate yourself about vasectomies, recovery, and anything else you have concerns or questions about.
Single and Supported: Addressing Vasectomy Concerns
It’s natural to have thoughts and fears, whether about the procedure itself or how it will affect your future. While beneficial, you may have a hard time wrapping your head around the idea of being permanently unable to have children. Or, you may be worried about vasectomy’s physical and emotional side effects, such as the impact on your masculinity. You may want to discuss the psychological effects with your urologist or confide in your personal support system, such as family or friends.
To better educate yourself and allay any vasectomy concerns, you need to know what’s involved, including the recovery period. For example, this procedure has no impact on your manhood, and your libido, erections, and testosterone levels are unaffected. You may find that your sexual satisfaction improves, as you won’t have to worry about pregnancy. No link has been found between vasectomies and greater disease risks, like cancer, either.
A Brief Overview of the Vasectomy Procedure
More than 500,000 American men have a vasectomy annually. With the conventional technique, your doctor, likely a urologist, injects a local anesthetic into the scrotal area, makes 1-2 small incisions, and cuts the vas deferens – the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the penis. The doctor then seals the severed ends, surgically or by burning, and closes up the incisions.
The No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy
You may prefer a no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy, which eliminates the need for painful needles administering anesthesia and scrotal incisions, while reducing potential side effects, pain, and recovery time. It’s regularly performed by renowned, board-certified urologist and vasectomy surgeon, Dr. Martin Bastuba. Taking about 10-30 minutes, you’ll have a hypospray applied to instantly numb the scrotal area. A tiny puncture hole is made in the scrotum, as the vas deferens are gently lifted, cut, tied, and put back, without stitches or sutures. You’re able to quickly return to your routine, with no need for narcotic pain-relief medications.
Benefits and Risks of Vasectomies
Almost 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, vasectomies remove the need for birth control. They also cost less than tubal ligation, which is a form of permanent birth control for women, and they’re covered by most insurance plans. It is surgery, though, and there may be side effects such as bleeding and mild pain. You could also be at risk for complications, like blood clots and epididymitis, involving swelling and inflammation of the epididymal tube, which stores and carries sperm.
The surgical site normally heals in about 3-7 days, and after 2-3 days, you can resume light work, with a return to your regular activity level in about a week. For a few months, you’ll have to use protection during sex, like condoms, as sperm need time to completely disappear from the ejaculate. About 12 weeks after, you’ll have a follow-up visit, during which your doctor will perform a semen analysis. If no sperm are found, the procedure was successful. However, as vasectomies don’t prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, single men who are sexually active should continue to wear condoms.
Learn More About Vasectomies
Despite being common, safe, and effective, men, especially if single, may have fears and concerns about vasectomies. You should educate yourself about the procedure and speak with your doctor. If you’re considering a vasectomy, or for general fertility questions, please contact the San Diego Vasectomy Center for an appointment.