A vasectomy, also called male sterilization, is a surgical procedure performed on men who no longer wish to have children. A vasectomy blocks the vas deferens tubes, how sperm leaves the testicles, preventing it from mixing with semen. Doctors have been performing vasectomies since the late 1800s and with advances in modern medicine, have condensed the entire procedure to be completed in under a half hour.
How Does A Vasectomy Work?
Before the procedure, the testicles and scrotum will be cleaned with an antiseptic. The patient will be given an IV or oral medication to reduce anxiety and cause sleepiness. A local anesthetic will be administered into the area so that the area is absolutely numb. The doctor will make one or two small incisions into the scrotum to access the vas deferens, the tubes connecting the testicles to the urethra. The doctor will then cut or clamp the vas deferens of each testicle - electrocautery may also be used to seal the ends with heat. When the vas deferens are cut, clamped or otherwise sealed, sperm is unable to leave the body, hindering the man’s ability to fertilize an egg. The incisions are sealed with dissolving stitches and typically takes 2 days to heal.
What to Expect After a Vasectomy?
Sexually mature men constantly produce sperm. After the procedure, testicles will continue to produce sperm but will be reabsorbed back into the body rather than exit through ejaculation. Samples should be taken periodically until a semen sample is tested and results display a zero count of sperm. A second form of birth control must be utilized during this time as results can take over a month to reach zero. There are relatively low chances of complications with this procedure, which is why many couples choose to have this procedure performed rather than tube litigation for women. Rare side effects include bleeding, swelling, bruising and inflammation. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects.
Reversing a Vasectomy
Vasectomies are a very common procedure, and only take about 20-30 minutes to complete from start to finish. Although considered a permanent method of birth control, the procedure is potentially reversible. Typically doctors do not recommend reversing a vasectomy as success rates can vary depending on how much time has passed since the initial procedure. You and your doctor should discuss your long term fertility plans before undergoing surgery. Reversing a vasectomy can take up to four hours and requires about 3 weeks to be able to resume normal activities, including sex.
Learn More About Your Vasectomy Solution
If you are considering a vasectomy, be sure to contact the doctors at Somerset Urological Associates. Our team of experienced physicians will help you carefully weigh the pros and cons of a vasectomy, and perform the procedure with precision and care. Call 908-927-0300 today to make an appointment and we look forward to hearing from you soon.