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Vasectomy

What is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that cuts and seals the vas deferens (tubes), cutting the supply of sperm to your semen. The body harmlessly absorbs the sperm that is blocked. Vasectomy is usually chosen by men who do not want to father children – or any more children. It is an effective form of birth control, and although it can be reversed, a vasectomy reversal is complicated, more expensive, and not always successful, so before you decide to have a vasectomy you should be certain that you do not want to father a child. Bear in mind that while vasectomy can prevent pregnancy, it will not offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.

SOME FREQUENTLY
ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the procedure for a vasectomy?
Before performing this procedure, your surgeon will discuss all aspects with you, explaining the procedure and any possible complications, and outlining other methods of birth control to you, to ensure that you’re choosing the option that is right for you.

The procedure itself is quick – lasting from 10 to 30 minutes.

The surgeon will use a small needle to inject a local anesthetic into the skin of the scrotum, then make a small incision or puncture in the scrotum, withdraw part of the vas deferens, cut and seal the tube before retuning the ends to the scrotum. The incision is then usually closed with stitches or glue.

How should I prepare for a vasectomy?

Your surgeon will probably advise you to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories and certain other medications several days before your surgery. On the day of the procedure you should bring tight-fitting underwear or an athletic support, which you should wear after the procedure for support and to help control swelling.

Where will my vasectomy be performed?
The procedure can be performed in the surgeon’s consulting room.
What anaesthetic will be used for my vasectomy?

Vasectomies are performed under local anaesthesia.

How do I recover from my vasectomy?
After the procedure you should rest for 24 hours. Arrange for transport home after the procedure, because driving yourself may cause pressure on the surgery area.

Following the procedure, you can expect some bruising and swelling (which will subside within a few days) and only minor pain.

When can I return to normal activities?
You can probably return to your regular non-strenuous routine within about three days, but you should avoid anything strenuous, including sports and heavy lifting for at least a week.

For the first week, avoid sexual activity. If you do ejaculate shortly after the procedure, you may experience some pain or notice blood in your semen. Note that after a vasectomy you will still ejaculate semen, but after about 20 ejaculations or several months, it will not contain sperm.

Remember to use another form of birth control until your doctor has determined that your semen no longer contains any sperm.

What are the risks involved in vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a low risk procedure with few complications or side effects. There is a small risk of bleeding, infection, inflammation, fluid build-up and chronic pain, but these are rare. Your doctor will discuss all the risks with you.

To allay any anxiety, you should know that:
A vasectomy won’t affect your sexual performance or permanently damage your sexual organs. It does not increase your risk of certain cancers or heart disease; there is no proven link.

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