The Vasectomy Process
When a man decides he is done fathering children, the most popular method of permanent birth control is to have a vasectomy done. A vasectomy is a relatively quick operation, usually lasting only 10-30 minutes, and is performed at a doctor’s office or at a surgical center.
Vasectomies are done on an outpatient basis using a local (not general) anesthetic. The man should be able to drive home after the surgery.
How Does a Vasectomy Work?
A vasectomy is a form of male birth control that makes the man sterile. This is done by cutting and sealing the vas deferens duct, thereby shutting down the route that sperm take from the testes.
A man can still have a normal ejaculation, but there just won’t be any sperm present in the seminal fluid (semen) anymore. Please note that a vasectomy reversal is possible if you change your mind later, but this procedure is not always successful in making the man fertile again.
What Happens During a Vasectomy
The steps involved in a vasectomy are fairly quick and relatively painless; it is the healing afterward that might cause a patient a few days of discomfort and swelling.
The urologist will first numb the scrotum with a local anesthetic using a very small-gauge (short and thin) needle. Once the area is numb, the urologist will make a small incision or tiny puncture in the upper part of the scrotum.
The urologist will then locate the vas deferens, which is the tube that carries the sperm. The physician will withdraw a tiny portion of the vas deferens through the puncture or incision and cut it.
The two now-open ends of the vas deferens will then be sealed. This is done either by tying them in a knot or by cauterizing them via surgical clips – or using a combination of methods. Then, these ends will be pushed back into the scrotum, and the incision or puncture will be sealed with either stitches or surgical glue.
Recovery After the Surgery
Swelling, bruising, and pain are normal following a vasectomy, and this will last for a few days. The doctor will prescribe rest for the first 24 hours after the operation, then light activity will be allowed for the following two or three days.
Do not participate in any sports, exercises, heavy lifting, or hard labor for a full week. Otherwise, you risk bleeding inside the scrotum, which would need to be medically drained and would cause additional recovery time.
There cannot be any sexual activity for up to 10 days. The sperm that is present in the vas deferens will require about 20 ejaculations to fully clear out; after that, the sperm will not be able to navigate the severed vas deferens and will be harmlessly absorbed by the body.
However, until your doctor tests the semen, prepare to use an alternate form of birth control until the physician confirms the success of the operation. Otherwise, a pregnancy may still be possible.
A vasectomy prevents the transmission of sperm during sexual activity, but it does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or other sexually transmitted infections.
Urologist in Concord, North Carolina
If you and your partner have discussed the desire to not have any additional children, and you decide that a vasectomy is the best way to go, contact us at Carolina Urology Partners today.
You can call us at (704) 786-5131 or request an appointment online to discuss your options. Let us be your trusted partner for a lifetime of health and wellness.