If fathering children isn’t in your future plans, a vasectomy is one of the more effective and efficient ways to prevent pregnancy. Each year in the United States, 500,000 men undergo this quick-and-easy sterilization process, allowing them to take family planning into their own hands.
If you’re considering whether to get a vasectomy, you likely have some questions, which we’re hoping we answer here. The team of men’s health experts here at Arizona Urology routinely perform vasectomies, and here’s what we found most men want to know beforehand.
Before getting a vasectomy, you want to know how well this procedure works in preventing you from impregnating a woman. The answer to this question is extremely well — a vasectomy enjoys a near perfect efficacy rate.
Next, you want to understand how it works. In most cases, we prefer the no-scalpel vasectomy, which means we only make two, tiny punctures in your scrotum. Using these tiny holes, we can access your vas deferens (the tubes through which your sperm travel), draw them out, and clip or cauterize them.
We perform this procedure here in our offices, and it takes only minutes. Rest assured, we supply you with a local anesthetic so that the most you’ll feel will be a slight tugging.
For your recovery, you might feel a little soreness around your puncture sites, which is easily remedied by a cold compress (a bag of frozen peas does nicely) and over-the-counter medications. We do ask that you avoid strenuous activities for at least a week, and you may want to take a day or two off of work immediately after your procedure to rest.
When we perform a vasectomy, we’re only preventing sperm from joining your ejaculate. This means that you can still perform sexually, including ejaculation. We do ask that you wait for a week after your vasectomy to engage in sex again.
After you get the greenlight to begin having sex again, please know that you’re not fully protected until your ejaculate is completely sperm-free, which typically occurs after 30 ejaculations. We ask you to come in for a quick test about 10-12 weeks after your vasectomy so we can confirm that your ejaculate contains no sperm. In the meantime, please use alternate techniques for preventing pregnancy.
When a vasectomy is performed by an experienced urologist, only one in 1,000 vasectomies fail. If your vasectomy is executed by someone who performs less than 50 a year, the failure rate jumps to 10-17%.
The team of urologists here at Arizona Urology have ample experience with vasectomies, making us an ideal choice for your vasectomy.
If you decide somewhere down the road that you do want to father children, a vasectomy is reversible. Bear in mind that the reversal procedure is more complicated than the original. If you really want to cover your bases, you may want to consider freezing sperm before you undergo a vasectomy in case you have a change of heart.
If we haven’t answered all of your vasectomy questions here, know that patient education is important to us. Please contact one of our locations in Goodyear, Glendale, Gilbert, or Phoenix, Arizona, to speak to one of our specialists.