What is a Vasectomy?

What is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is the most reliable permanent method of birth control for men. It works by preventing the release of sperm when a man is ejaculating; the vas deference is removed from each of the testicles. A vas deferens is cut, sealed or clamped.A vasectomy hinders a man from impregnating a woman by ensuring the sperm does not come into contact with semen which is ejaculated in the penis. It is impossible to fertile a human egg without a sperm in the semen.

Although the testicles keep producing sperms, the sperm does not come in contact with semen instead it is safely reabsorbed by the body.Several months after this birth control procedure, all the remnant sperm will be ejaculated or reabsorbed. Don’t stop using another method of birth control until a sample of your semen is tested and proves you have a zero sperm count.

Types of Vasectomies

There are 2 kinds of vasectomy procedures that serve the same function;

No-Scalpel Vasectomy

This type of vasectomy procedure does not involve the use of scalpels. Instead this technique involves the use uniquely designed instruments. A instrument known as the Vasclip is used to clip the vas deference. There is no cutting, suturing or cauterization involved.

A Conventional Vasectomy

This is a vasectomy method performed using a scalpel that makes very small incisions on the skin of the scrotum. The surgeon will either make 2 incisions on each side or can opt to make a single incision in the middle of the scrotum. Only a scalpel is used no additional instruments are needed to flawlessly perform this vasectomy technique.

The incisions allow a doctor to remove t section of the vas deference. Once a small section is removed the ends are tied or sealed; this blocks transportation of sperm to the penis where semen is ejaculated. The sealed or tied ends are then stitched to close them permanently.

Which is better among the tree methods of performing vasectomies?

Both vasectomy methods have been proven to be extremely safe and effective. However in every medical procedure there are always risks; Complication rates are higher in the conventional technique than in the no-scalpel technique which is minimally invasive.

Most surgeons recommend the minimally invasive technique because there is a very small chance of developing complications both in the long-term and the short-term. Reliable studies also suggest that although the clipping method has the lowest risk of complications and pain, it is not as effective; the chances that the clipping might not work are relatively higher compared to the other 2 vasectomy techniques.

A detailed look at what happens during a vasectomy procedure;

Although the techniques vary slightly, the general technique is the same. Here is what happens during a vasectomy;

  • The first step is cleaning your scrotum and testicles with an antiseptic; any hair is also completely shaved off to make it more convenient for the surgeon performing the procedure. The cleaning also to eliminate the chances of an infection because of hygiene.
  • If the doctor determines that you are too anxious then you may be required to take medication intravenously or orally. Patients who take this medication may not have a memory of the vasectomy procedure.
  • At this stage each of the techniques varies slightly; the no scalpel technique a specially designed instrument known as the Vasclip is used to clip the vas deference. There is no cutting, suturing or cauterization involved.
  • On the other hand, in a conventional vasectomy technique, the doctor either makes 1 or 2 incisions on the scrotum to access the vas deference which is then cut. The two cut ends are then stitched, sealed or tied. Some doctors may choose to the two cut-ends using heat (electrocautery). Burning works by forming a scar tissues that helps block the tubes. If stitching is the preferred method of sealing the 2 cut-ends then dis-solvable stitches are a must since they don’t have to be removed after healing.

A vasectomy procedure takes twenty to thirty minutes; this is a medical technique that can either be performed in a clinic or in an office. Medical practitioners who have the skills needed to perform this surgery include a general surgeon or a urologist.

Why is it important to use a reputable, knowledgeable and experienced surgeon who is board certified?

A vasectomy is a simple surgery that is typically performed in a doctor’s office within 30 minutes. Despite its simplicity, there are chances of developing complications just as in any other surgery so it is very important to choose a medical practitioner who not only has knowledge but also has extensive experience.

Ensure the procedure is performed by a board-certified urologist who has a detailed comprehension of the genitourinary tract which includes the genitals, the bladder and even the kidneys. You can get information about good urologist by seeking advice from your primary-care doctor, asking for information from your insurance company or asking friends and family who have had a vasectomy.

What should a patient expect after a vasectomy procedure?

The recovery time varies from one patient to another. While some men can return to work after a meager 2 or 3 days, others will need more than a week of rest before resuming the daily routine.

  • Here is a detailed guide on what you should expect in the days and weeks after this permanent birth control surgery.

Immediately after the procedure;

Most patients are stable enough to go home immediately so make sure you thoroughly comprehend every instruction from the doctor. It is also wise to ask questions and seek clarification from the doctor before you go home to recover.

It is recommended that the patient should go home directly and start resting immediately so that the recovery can be faster. The patient will not be fit enough to drive, do any heavy lifting or engage in potentially strenuous activity that will exhaust their body.

Doctors also insist that patients should preferably wear tight-fitting underwear or even an athletic supporter on the ride from the hospital. It is also advisable to keep the athletic supporter and the tight-fitting underwear on for the next 3 to 4 days.  The main advantage of wearing what the doctor recommends is that your scrotum will be provided with extra support.

Expect the local anesthetic to wear off within a couple of hours after the procedure. It is also quite normal to experience mild cramping in the lower abdomen. Some patients also feel some discomfort in the area sound the scrotum particularly near the incisions.

Mild bruising and minor swelling are also a common occurrence but expect this to fade quickly in the next 14 days. Soothing using an icepack is recommended, an acetaminophen such as Tylenol is beneficial in reducing minor pain expected when the local anesthetic wears off. Doctors advice patients to avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for the 2 days; this is because they will increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in the area around the incision/s.

What to expect the first seven days after a vasectomy procedure

This is a period of rest to ensure quick post-surgery healing. The next 2 to 3 days should be spent off your feet; either lie on a bed or a comfortable couch provided your feet are elevated. At this juncture the patient should also not shower for up to 2 days; this gives the incision/s on the scrotum sufficient time to heal, additionally the risk of infection is substantially reduced.

During the first seven days a patient takes a course of prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection that can lead to complications. Every patient is different; if bruising, severe swelling chills, fever and pus at the incisions is noticed then seek medical attention immediately.

A patient should be careful the first seven days; it is advisable to stay away from work so that your body has time to heal and rejuvenate. Most patients typically recover within a day and go back to work immediately unless your job involves demanding physical labor. After seven days most patients will fully return to their normal lives and a demanding physical regimen that includes running and even biking.

What will sex be like after a Vasectomy?

Contrary to popular misconception a vasectomy will not affect sex drive negatively, neither will it affect a man’s natural ability to have an erection or ejaculate. Even orgasms will remain unchanged. However, there are a few men who report mild aching of the testicles when sexually aroused; this should completely fade after a few months.

You should only avoid having sex on the first seven days after the vasectomy procedure. Ever patient should keep in mind you don’t become sterile immediately; it takes several months for the remnant sperm to be safely reabsorbed by the body or ejaculated.

How effective is this permanent birth control method?

A vasectomy surgery is the most effective and reliable permanent birth control method for men. According to reliable estimate only one to two women in every 1000 impregnate a woman after a vasectomy. Since this procedure is largely permanent.

A patient must be sure that they will not want any more kids in the future. If after careful consideration you and your partner are still unsure then consider banking your sperm and going ahead with the surgery or putting off the surgery completely and opting for a reversible birth control method. A vasectomy is difficult to reverse, the reversal surgery is not only expensive, there are also high chances that the procedure may not be successful.

Is a Vasectomy Painful and are there any Side Effects that  patient Should Look Out For?

Pain and possible side effects are the biggest concern most men have about undergoing a vasectomy. However since there is a small operation involved patient will feel some discomfort during the surgery, however the local anesthetic substantially reduces the pain. Most men are able to effortlessly tolerate the pain and brave through a surgery without any anxiety.

Complications are very rare and the side effects rarely occur; however, like any other medical procedure there is always a chance no matter how small that a complication can happen. Some of the side effects a patient can look out for include

  • The risk of under-skin bleeding

Sometimes patients can bleed under the skin and this can cause bruising and swelling which will require a longer healing period and medication to manage pain and prevent infection.

  • Possible infection at the sites where the incision/s is made

In very rare cases, a patient can develop an infection either at the site of the incision/s or inside the scrotum. If a patient takes their antibiotic medication as prescribed and also follows doctor’s instructions to the latter then infection will rarely occur.

  • Another possible risk is sperm leakage from the blocked vas deference to the tissue around it

If leakage continues, a small lump called the sperm granuloma is formed. This condition is not painful and can easily be treated with adequate rest and pain medication. In extreme cases, a surgery may be needed to remove the granuloma.

  • In very rare cases a process called re-canalization can naturally occur making the vasectomy surgery ineffective

In very few incidences, the vas deference can naturally grow back ensuring flow of the sperm into the penis where semen is produced. This will make the man fertile again. Most doctors recommend that if re-canalization happens then a man should seek an alternative birth control method other than repeating a vasectomy procedure for the second time.

The great news is that a vasectomy is 99.85 % effective; the chances of failure are close to zero, this is why most doctors recommend it to men who have chosen to remain sterile permanently.

Finally, is a vasectomy a wise choice when it comes to permanent birth control?

A vasectomy is definitely a smart choice medically for a man who does not want have to have any more children .Medical expects affirm that this procedure is a safer and more affordable alternative to tubal ligation done on women. Although quite costly, it is a onetime cost that is covered by most insurance companies.