A vasectomy is one of the most effective forms of birth control. It is almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.
The procedure works by severing the vas deferens, or the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. After a vasectomy, your semen will no longer contain sperm cells that can fertilise your partner’s egg.
If you are considering having a vasectomy, you should know that it can be done as a simple outpatient procedure under local anaesthetic. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the scrotum to get to the vas deferens. The vas deferens are then cut, tied and sealed off. The wound is then closed with absorbable stitches.
It is important to note that a vasectomy does not affect a man’s sex drive or ability to have sexual activity. A vasectomy procedure usually takes about 15-30 minutes in total.
The decision to have a vasectomy is not one that should be taken lightly. You and your partner should take time to really think about whether it is the right choice for you. A vasectomy should be considered a permanent form of contraception when you are sure that you do not want more or any children. A vasectomy can be reversed, but this is expensive and does not always work.
Benefits of having a vasectomy
1. Low risk: Vasectomies are a safe and low-risk procedure. The risk of complications is low and the procedure is generally well-tolerated.
2. Permanent birth control: A vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control. This makes it a great option for men who are sure they do not want to have any more children.
3. Quick recovery: The procedure itself is relatively quick and the recovery time is usually short. Most men can return to their normal activities within a few days.
4. Cost-effective: Vasectomies are a cost-effective form of birth control.
5. No hormones: Some forms of birth control involve the female taking the oral contraceptive pill, which contains hormones. These can have side-effects and a vasectomy avoids that. This makes it a great option for men whose partner does not want to take hormones or who cannot take hormones due to medical reasons.
6. High success rate: Vasectomies are highly effective, with a success rate of over 99%. This makes it a great option for men who want to be sure they are protected against unwanted pregnancies.
What are the potential risks?
Although the risks are low, these are some potential complications that you should be aware of:
- blood in your semen on the first few ejaculates – 10-50%
- troublesome chronic testicular pain – up to 5% of patients
- significant bleeding that requires treatment – 2-10%
- infection of the wound and/or testicle – 2-10%
- early failure (where there is persistent sperm on post-op semen analysis) – 1 in 250 patients
- late failure (re-joining of the ends of the tubes after initial negative semen analysis) resulting in fertility and pregnancy at a later stage – 1 in 2000 patients.