What is vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure for men that stops the supply of sperm from entering the semen. It is a form of permanent birth control performed under local anaesthesia where the sperm-carrying tubes, also known as vas deferens, are cut and sealed.
This birth control procedure is generally safe and effective in preventing pregnancy.
Why get a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is recommended for men who are certain they do not want to father a child in the future. Other reasons to consider the procedure include:
- Lower risk of unplanned pregnancy compared to birth control medications.
- Inability to take oral contraceptives due to existing health conditions or risks.
- Safer and less complex than tubal ligation, a birth control procedure that poses a higher risk for women.
- An option for couples who wish to avoid passing on inheritable genes due to genetic disorders.
Can vasectomy be reversed?
A vasectomy can be reversed. A vasectomy reversal, also called vasovasostomy, is a micro-surgery that involves reconnecting both ends of the cut vas deferens. This procedure is used to restore fertility to a man who had previously undergone vasectomy.
Although it is possible to undo vasectomy, other factors such as your sperm motility and fertility of your female partner may affect pregnancy chances after a reversal procedure. The success rate of pregnancy can range from 30 to 90 per cent.
However, the longer the interval between the vasectomy and the reversal, the lower the success rate is for a reversal procedure.
Is there an age limit for a vasectomy?
While any male above 18 can undergo vasectomy, your urologist may advise against performing the procedure if you are:
- A young male who may not be emotionally prepared.
- Experiencing underlying health conditions that might increase the procedure risk of vasectomy.
What are the risks of vasectomy?
Vasectomy is a generally safe procedure. You will experience mild pain or soreness but other side effects may also include:
- Bleeding in the scrotum
- Swelling of the scrotum
A vasectomy will not affect your testosterone, libido, or sexual performance. It also does not increase the risk of heart diseases, testicular cancer, or other health problems.
How is vasectomy done?
The common method for vasectomy procedures is the no-scalpel method.
The surgeon makes a small hole in the scrotum and pulls the vas deferens through the hole. A small area of the vas deferens is cut before tying and cauterizing the ends. The vas deferens are then placed back inside the scrotum. The surgeon sews up the hole with a stitch.
What do I need to take note of after a vasectomy?
Your doctor will provide aftercare instructions for your recovery. The recovery time for a vasectomy is usually less than a week and you can resume most normal activities within a few days. You will also need to avoid all sexual activity for a week after your surgery.
For the procedure to be fully complete, you will need to wait for at least a few months before unprotected sexual intercourse because your sperm may still be present in your semen.