Vasectomy (Sterilization for Men)

What it is

A vasectomy is a birth control procedure for men that is designed to be permanent. Choosing to have a vasectomy is decision that should be made with careful consideration. It is not a choice to make in haste. There are methods of vasectomy that require an incision and others that don’t.

How it Works

Sperm is produced in the testicles. From there, it has to pass through two tubes called vasa deferentia to other glands, where it mixes with seminal fluids to become semen. During a vasectomy procedure, a healthcare provider will block or close both vasa deferentia tubes. This will keep sperm from joining the seminal fluid. The incision method is done by making an incision on each side of the scrotum to reach the vas deferens. Tubes can be cut, tied off, blocked with surgical clips or closed off by an instrument with an electrical current. The no-incision method requires the doctor to make one tiny puncture to reach both tubes. Then the tubes can be tied off, blocked or cauterized.

After either procedure, the sperm will be absorbed into the body instead of ejaculated. Without sperm, ejaculate (cum) cannot cause pregnancy.

Effectiveness

Vasectomies are nearly 100% effective but not for up to three months after the procedure. Sperm will remain beyond the blocked tubes until it is used up, which takes an average of three months. A semen analysis will show when there are no more sperm in the ejaculate.

Cost

The cost of a vasectomy ranges from $350 to $1000, including the follow-up sperm semen analysis.

Benefits

The main benefit of sterilization is that life-long birth control can be provided with one simple procedure. For many men and women, sexual pleasure is elevated, because they no longer have to worry about unwanted pregnancies occurring.

A vasectomy does not affect a man’s hormones or ability to get and stay erect. It will not affect his sex organs, sexuality or sexual pleasure. Male hormones and sperm will still be produced.

Sterilization is beneficial to men

  • Who don’t want to have a biological child in the future
  • Who don’t want to pass on hereditary illness or disability
  • Who want to spare their partner the more complicated and costly female sterilization surgery
  • For whom other methods are unacceptable

Among the kinds of vasectomy procedures, there are varying benefits.

The no-incision method reduces bleeding and eliminates scarring and the need for stitches. It also decreases the possibility of infection, bruising and other complications. There may also be less pain associated with no-scalpel procedures.

Risks

The main risk of a vasectomy is its permanency. A man must be sure this is the best choice for him for the rest of his life, because it can be irreversible.

Among the kinds of vasectomy procedures, there are varying risks for each method. Complications are less likely to arise from the non-incision methods. Major complications are rare and are usually caused by infection.

Other potential side effects include

  • Bruising
  • Pain or discomfort in the testicles
  • Hematomas – swellings that contain blood
  • Hydroceles – swellings that contain fluid and tenderness near the testicles
  • Granuloma – sperm that leaks from the tubes and can cause a small lump under the skin near the site of the surgery
  • In four out of 1,000 cases, sexual desire can be diminished or the man can lose the ability to get an erection. This is most often an emotional response to the surgery

In very rare situations, the ends of the tubes can grow back together allowing for sperm to once-again enter the ejaculate. This can lead to pregnancy. This most commonly occurs in the four months after the procedure.

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How effective is your birth control?

For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.

The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.

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