By Jessica Day, NP
Reliant Division of Urology
A vasectomy is a quick, relatively painless, and most importantly, 99% effective birth control procedure for men. This outpatient, in-office procedure is a popular option for those who do not plan to have any more children.
What happens during the procedure?
A vasectomy is the disconnection of the vas deferens, the tubes that deliver sperm from the testes to the seminal fluid (semen) during intercourse. The ends of the vas deferens of each testicle are sealed during a vasectomy to prevent the chance of them rejoining. After a vasectomy the testes still produce sperm, but they don’t live long and are absorbed by the body.
What are the risks of a vasectomy?
Even a simple surgical procedure like a vasectomy is not risk-free and there is a chance of bleeding and infection. There is also a chance of a (usually mild) inflammatory reaction to sperm that may have gotten loose during the surgery (called sperm granuloma). In addition, there is also a slight risk of the ends of the vas deferens reconnecting to one another on their own. Fortunately, this does not occur very often which is why the procedure is 99% effective.
What can I expect after the operation?
There will probably be some pain, bruising and swelling in the area where the surgery was performed. An ice pack will help with the pain and swelling. You should see the bruises slowly lighten and be gone in approximately two weeks. You may use a non-aspirin pain reliever after the procedure (always avoid aspirin before or after a vasectomy as it may increase bleeding).
When can I return to work?
This will depend on the type of job you have. Most people who have a non-strenuous job return after a couple of days. Your doctor can provide more information on when you can return to work. You may want to wear tight-fitting underwear or a jock-strap to protect your scrotum and be more comfortable after the procedure.
Does a vasectomy work right away?
Definitely not. After the procedure, you will need to wait up to three months or ejaculate as many as 15 to 20 times before the sperm will be cleared from the vas deferens. For this reason, you and your partner will need to continue to use birth control during this time. Your physician will ask you to bring in sample of your semen two or three months after you have the procedure. It is only after the sample is analyzed and determined sperm-free that you will be unable to impregnate a woman.
Will my sex life be affected in any way?
The good news is that your vasectomy shouldn’t change your sex life at all. You will still have the same sex drive and ejaculate the same amount of semen as before – just without the sperm present.
Talk to your primary care provider or a urologist to learn more about having a vasectomy for birth control.
Can a vasectomy be reversed?
Although some men have had their vasectomies reversed, the reversal surgery is complicated and success is not guaranteed. So a vasectomy should only be undertaken if you are absolutely sure you do not want to have children in the future.
About Jessica Day, NP
A graduate of Northeastern University, Jessica comes to the department of Urology with great experience in the field of nursing and a strong dedication to her patients. Starting as an RN, Jessica enjoyed teaching her patients how to prioritize their health in certain ways, but wanted to give more back to the community. “As an NP, I have found that I am able to provide more comprehensive care to my patients while continuing to help them...View profile View posts by this doctor