Vasectomy: What you need to know

Vasectomy: What you need to know

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that sterilises a man, preventing him from fathering children.

A vasectomy is one of the most effective methods of birth control, but how is the surgery performed, and what are its benefits? Read on to find out.

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a form of birth control which prevents sperm from being released during ejaculation. During the procedure, the vas deferens are cut or blocked. The vas deferens is the duct that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra. After a successful vasectomy, a man will have no sperm in his ejaculate, and therefore his ejaculate cannot cause pregnancy.

The procedure

Doctors usually perform vasectomy under local anesthesia. In this surgical procedure, a doctor will make two incisions to access the vas deferens on either side of the scrotum. Alternatively, the doctor may make a small hole to access these tubes. After this, the doctor will cut and seal the tubes and provide stitches if they are required. Although vasectomy is reversible in most cases, reversal doesn’t always work. As such, it is important that you should consider vasectomy only if you’re confident that you will not want any more children. After the procedure, patients should avoid sex and any strenuous activity for about a week.

Benefits

There are a number of clear benefits surrounding vasectomies, which make it a great option for many families. Some major advantages include:

  • Effective contraception 
  • Permanent contraception 
  • No lasting effects on sexual drive or performance
  • A cheaper option than female sterilisation 
  • Low-risk procedure 

Risks 

While there are many benefits which come with undertaking a vasectomy, there are potential risks too. It is important to remember that the procedure will result in permanent contraception, and a reversal or the surgery does not always work. Furthermore, the procedure will not protect men against sexually transmitted diseases, and as such, a condom may still be required during sex. After the surgery, potential short-term risks of vasectomy include:

  • swelling
  • bruising
  • bleeding inside the scrotum
  • blood in the semen
  • infection

Long-term issues that may occur due to vasectomy are relatively rare and include:

  • fluid buildup in the testicle
  • chronic pain
  • pregnancy if the vasectomy heals spontaneously 

Effectiveness

A vasectomy will prevent pregnancy nearly 100 per cent of the time, making it the most effective birth control method for men. However, vasectomy isn’t immediately effective. It can take up to three months before it is safe to have unprotected sex after a vasectomy. This is because existing sperm need to clear out of your system. After a while, your doctor will conduct a semen analysis so that you know when it’s safe to have sex. 

To undergo a vasectomy is an important decision which should never be taken lightly. Be sure to talk to your partner and your doctor to work at whether it is the right option for you. It is important to talk to a trusted professional when it comes to your health. If you have any questions about vasectomies or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact or call Dr Arianayagam’s office on 1300 307 990, and his staff will be happy to assist.

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