Table Of Contents
- Vasectomy at a glance
- What is a vasectomy?
- How does it prevent pregnancy?
- How effective is it?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the disadvantages?
- Is it right for me?
- Is it safe?
- What are vasectomy side effects and does it hurt?
- How will you feel after having one?
- What is the recovery time?
- How much does a vasectomy cost and how do I get one?
Vasectomy at a Glance
- A permanent birth control solution for men
- Vasectomy cost can be anywhere from $0 – $1,000
- Effective and safe surgical procedure
- Prevents pregnancy by sterilizing a man
You can find more details about each of these points in the content below. Including vasectomy cost, vasectomy side effects, and what it’s like getting a vasectomy.
What Is It?
A vasectomy is a permanent birth control option for men, that eliminates the risk of impregnating a woman. Getting a vasectomy can be reversed but the reversal procedure is very expensive and can be less successful the longer you wait. There is also no guarantee that the reversal will work.
Getting a vasectomy involves closing the tubes that carry the sperm out of a man’s body. By preventing the sperm from exiting the body, they cannot fertilize a females egg. Without fertilization, pregnancy is not possible.
How Does It Prevent Pregnancy?
Sperm is created in the testicles of a man. The sperm then passes through two tubes that are called vasa deferentia and mixes with seminal fluids to form semen. Getting a vasectomy prevents each vas deferens from allowing the sperm to enter the seminal fluid.
The sperm is absorbed into the body instead of being ejaculated. By preventing the sperm from exiting the body, they cannot fertilize an egg. Without fertilization, pregnancy is not possible.
How Effective Is It?
However, it is not immediately effective because there are sperm that remain beyond the blocked tubes. These sperm can take up to 3 months to leave. Therefore it’s important to use a secondary birth control, like a condom, for the first 3 months to prevent pregnancy.
During these 3 months, a man must ejaculate at least 15 times in order to make sure all of the old sperm leaves the blocked tubes. This can be done by masturbation or by using a condom to prevent pregnancy.
After 3 months, have your physician complete a semen analysis to make sure that the vasectomy procedure was performed successfully. It is possible in very rare cases (1 in 1000) that the tubes will grow back or the procedure did not take. If that’s the case, another vasectomy will required and another 3 months will need to pass before having intercourse without the risk of pregnancy.
Getting a vasectomy does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Although sperm is not present in the semen, it does not mean infections cannot pass through the semen. In order to reduce the risk of an infection a male condom or female condom should be used.
What Are The Benefits?
The main benefits of the procedure is that it’s safe, simple, convenient, and it lasts a life time. It is a one time procedure, that does not require maintenance like female birth control pills or the patch.
In addition, it allows men and women to enjoy sex without having to worry about getting pregnant.
Other benefits include that it does not change:
- Sexuality or sexual pleasure
- Any organs or glands
- The ability to stay erect
This is also one of the only birth control options for men, giving him more control over his own future.
In addition, before the procedure you can save your sperm in a sperm bank. They will freeze it so it’s available at the sperm bank for later use. This is not a guarantee, but it is possible.
What Are The Disadvantages?
It may not be right for you if you are:
- Unsure if you ever want to have a biological child in the future
- Being pressured by family, friends, or a partner
- Hoping to solve problems that could be temporary such as:
- Sexual problems
- Marital problems
- Out of work
- Short-term mental or physical illnesses
Before deciding on getting a vasectomy, it is important to consider other birth control methods that are not permanent so that you are 100% sure this option is right for you.
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse and it is also very expensive. There is no guarantee a reversal will work. This depends on various factors such as: how long ago the procedure occurred, whether the antibodies to sperm have developed, and the method you selected for your procedure.
Though the chances are low, it is possible to get an infection after getting a vasectomy. Some signs you may have an infection include: a fever, noticeable pus oozing, blood on the site of the incision, or excessive pain or swelling. Infections are less likely to occur with the no scalpel vasectomy method.
Other possible complications that may occur in rare instances are:
- The ends of the tubes grow back together (eliminating the benefits of the procedure)
- Decreasing sexual desire or the inability to have an erection
- The is most likely because of emotions, not a physical risk
- Discomfort or pain in the testicles
- Bruising – this normally clears up on its own after the scrotum heals
- Hydroceles – swellings that contains fluid and creates tenderness near the testicles
- Hematomas – swelling that contains blood
- Granuloma – A small lump under the skin where the surgery occurred, caused by sperm leaks from the tubes
Is It Right For Me?
It may be right for you, if you:
- Do not want to have biological children for the rest of your life
- Do not want to pass along any disabilities or hereditary illnesses
- Want to enjoy having sex without having to worry about getting your partner pregnant
- Worry about the side effects of other birth control methods
- Want to spare your partner from having a tubal sterilization (which can be more costly and complicated)
- Believe other methods of birth control are unacceptable
Is it Safe?
The majority of men have vasectomy procedures very safely. However with all medical procedures there are some risks. In order to learn more about getting a vasectomy and vasectomy side effects, you should talk to a health care professional.
There are two ways a to preform a vasectomy procedure:
- Incision Method
- No-Incision Method (No Scalpel Vasectomy)
Incision methods take roughly 20 minutes, whereas the no scalpel vasectomy methods take less time and have quicker recoveries.
Vasectomy Incision Methods
The pelvic area is frozen with a local anesthetic to prevent pain from the scalpel incision. The doctor makes one incision in the center of the scrotum or one on each side of the scrotum to reach each vas deferens.
The doctor will then complete the procedure by either:
- Removing a small section of each tube
- Tying each tube
- Blocking each tube with surgical clips
- Closing each tube using an instrument with an electrical current
No-Incision Methods (No Scalpel Vasectomy)
The no-incision (no scalpel vasectomy) method is where the skin of the scrotum is not cut. Instead a tiny puncture is made on each scrotum in order to reach both tubes. The tubes are then blocked, tied or cauterized.
With this method the tiny punctures heal quickly, there is less bleeding, and you don’t need any stitches. In addition, no scarring takes place.
The no scalpel vasectomy can decrease the possibility of infections, bruising, and other complications as well.
What Are Vasectomy Side Effects and Does it Hurt?
Before the procedure starts, your health care provider will put a numbing agent on your scrotum to numb the area. So you hardly feel anything while the procedure takes place. When the numbing agent goes on it feels like a light slap on the scrotum.
After the procedure you will be given a schedule of when to take pain medications. This reduces swelling and pain. Negative vasectomy side effects are rare. If you follow all the rules set forth by your doctor, you should feel very little pain throughout the whole process.
For 1 week after surgery, you will have to wear a jock strap to support the scrotum so it doesn’t knock around while moving. You will be asked to do as little walking and heavy lifting as possible for this first week.
Other than that, vasectomy side effects are minor discomfort and slight pain near the surgical area for the first week.
How Will You Feel After Having a Vasectomy?
After having a vasectomy you may feel some slight to moderate pain if you do too much walking or heavy lifting. Also if you are not taking your pain medication on time you may feel some discomfort. Vasectomy side effects are much less severe than other birth control options.
On the first day you will need to spend the whole day off your feet icing the scrotum. For the entire first week must walk very little and cant lift anything over 15 lbs.
The pain may get a little worse on the second or third day, but as long as you are following your physicians guidelines it isn’t very much.
After healing, you will feel exactly the same as before.
What is the Recovery Time?
Most men can have vasectomy at the end of the week and can be back at work on Monday. As long as you do not have a job that requires a lot of walking or heavy lifting.
Within a week, most men are fully recovered and can resume normal sexual activities.
In rare cases there can be complications and therefore you may need a follow up visit with the doctor.
How Much Does a Vasectomy Cost and How Do I Get One?
In order to get a vasectomy you need to visit your health care professional to get a referral to a specialist. There will be an introductory meeting with the specialist and you will have to fill out some forms to determine if the vasectomy procedure is right for you.
Another important factor is how much does a vasectomy cost? and Does insurance cover vasectomy? The vasectomy cost can be anywhere from $0 – $1,000, depending on your location and medical coverage. Usually there are at least some small costs involved, even if your work does insurance cover vasectomy.
In conclusion, if you are seriously considering getting a vasectomy, make sure you have answers to these questions:
- Does insurance cover vasectomy? (answers vary based on the individual)
- How much does a vasectomy cost? (answers vary based on location and your health care provider)
- Why am I interested in getting a vasectomy? (to ensure you are ready)
Check out other Birth Control Options and speak with your doctor before deciding on your birth control method.