A vasectomy is a permanent and effective means for preventing pregnancy. A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that cuts the vas deferens, the tube that brings sperm from the testes, where it is made, to the penis during ejaculation. This is a permanent form of birth control for men. Vasectomies can be reversible; however, it is not advisable to have one if you think you may change your mind at a later date.
Understandably, some men are apprehensive about the vasectomy procedure because it involves such a delicate area of the body. You can rest assured that our highly trained staff and experienced physicians will perform the vasectomy with great precision. It should also be noted that a vasectomy will not affect a man’s libido, ejaculation, sexual pleasure, or his erections. The vasectomy yields very little pain or discomfort after the procedure.
How It Works
A vasectomy works by cutting the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the penis. This prevents the sperm from exiting the penis during ejaculation. After a vasectomy, your body will continue to produce sperm, but they will die and be re-absorbed. A vasectomy will not noticeably affect the seminal fluid; your ejaculate will still look and feel the same. A vasectomy also will not affect your testosterone (male hormone) levels or your ability to have an erection.
Preparing for Your Vasectomy
Your doctor may ask you to stop taking vitamin supplements, aspirin or ibuprofen several days to one week before your vasectomy. Anti-inflammatory medications thin the blood and could cause excessive bleeding. Notify your urologist if you are taking any blood thinners. You may eat a light meal before your procedure.
During the Procedure
- Your procedure is performed in an outpatient surgery center using local anesthesia.
- Your urologist will make a small incision (less than 1 centimeter) in the scrotum or perform a “no scalpel” vasectomy in which a special instrument makes a puncture instead of a small cut.
- Various techniques are then used to block the passage of sperm through the vas deferens.
After Your Vasectomy
- Most patients can drive home afterwards.
- To minimize discomfort, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers, an ice pack and/or an athletic supporter.
- Contact your doctor if you experience fever, chills, increasing pain or significant swelling and bruising.
- Your doctor will give you instructions for resuming work and sexual activity, typically after three to four days. Try to remain off your feet for 24 hours.
- You must use other forms of birth control until your doctor assures you that your vasectomy is completely effective. This may take several months until all of the sperm left in the upper part of the vas deferens is ejaculated.
- Vasectomies may be reversible, but you should not assume your procedure can be reversed. Talk with your doctor to learn more.
How long will it be before I can resume intercourse?
You may have intercourse in a few days after the procedure, when you are feeling better. However, it is essential that contraception is used until a post-vasectomy semen analysis is obtained to confirm that there are no sperm present in the ejaculate. Your physician will instruct you on the proper waiting period at the time of your surgery.