Vasectomies are one of the most popular methods of sterilization for men. And for good reason–they are a simple outpatient procedure, often done right in the doctor’s clinic, with minimal downtime. For a man who knows he does not want more children, a vasectomy offers a form of birth control with a high track record of effectiveness. It is also a very safe procedure.
How does a vasectomy work?
The procedure works by permanently disrupting the flow of sperm from the testicle to the ejaculatory ducts within the prostate gland. With time, the production of sperm within the testicles gradually slows down and is reabsorbed by the body.
- A man who has a vasectomy will still maintain his ability to climax and will still ejaculate. The main difference is that there will be no sperm in the semen.
- In addition, a vasectomy will not impact the testicle’s ability to continue to produce testosterone
What is the no-scalpel vasectomy?
As mentioned, a vasectomy is typically performed in a doctor’s office and does not require you to “go to sleep” for the procedure. I perform all of my vasectomies in the comfort of my clinic. Typically, I perform a “no-scalpel vasectomy,” which offers advantages of a traditional vasectomy.
A traditional vasectomy requires the surgeon to make two small cuts in the upper part of the scrotum, under the penis. The doctor then cuts, ties or blocks the vas deferens. This method requires stitches.
In my practice, I specialize in performing low-pain “no-scalpel” vasectomies. With the “no-scalpel” vasectomy method, the entire procedure can usually be done through a single opening measuring less than 1 cm or a quarter of an inch. Since the opening is relatively small, a stitch is not usually needed.
To reduce the discomfort associated with a vasectomy, we use a special anaesthetic injector that delivers the local anaesthetic without a needle. The sensation of getting struck by a rubber band is commonly described by most of our patients. The discomfort lasts only for a few seconds before the numbness takes effect.
What is recovery from a vasectomy like?
Many men have the vasectomy procedure on a Friday and return to work on Monday. After a vasectomy, it is normal for a man to be sore for a few days. At least one full day of rest is recommended. A complete recovery can be expected within a week
After a vasectomy:
- Avoid any significantly strenuous activity for a few days.
- Avoid any heavy lifting.
- We also advise patients to wear a scrotal supporter for a few days immediately after the procedure.
- Refrain from sexual activity for at least two weeks.
What are the risks & benefits of a vasectomy?
As mentioned, a vasectomy is a very safe procedure. Complications aren’t common, but if they happen, they can include:
- Swelling and/or bruising
The biggest benefit of having a vasectomy is that it is highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Vasectomies are hard–and sometimes impossible–to reverse, so a man should be certain about his decision to have one. Some patients will bank their sperm before they undergo a vasectomy.
Again, it’s important to note that a vasectomy will not affect a man’s testosterone level, climaxes, sex drive or any other aspect of his sex life.
If you are considering a vasectomy, I encourage you to explore the “no-scalpel” vasectomy option, which will provide for a quicker recovery and less downtime.
Dr Howard Tay is a board-certified urologist in Arizona certified by the American Board of Urology. He is an active member of the American Urological Association. He has practised urology in Arizona since 1996.
Dr Tay is recognized as a leading Arizona urologist, including several Phoenix Magazine “Top Doc” awards for urology. He is an active member in advancing urology in the state of Arizona and serves on several hospital committees as is past Department Chair of Surgery at Banner Thunderbird Hospital.