Birth control has long been assumed to be the domain of women, but men hold the key to one of the most powerful and successful options available: a vasectomy. Outside of abstinence, a vasectomy offers the most complete protection against unwanted pregnancy.
Here at our practice, Dr. Robert J. Cornell routinely performs vasectomies, allowing his Houston area patients to join the ranks of the half a million men each year who opt for this easy solution to birth control.
If you’re toying with the idea of a vasectomy, here’s what you should know about the procedure, and what you can expect from life afterward.
As surgical procedures go, a vasectomy is relatively minor and there’s no “going under the knife.” Dr. Cornell has considerable experience with the latest techniques, including scalpel-free surgery. Using only local anesthesia, he makes a single puncture to access each of your vas deferens (the tubes that deliver sperm from your testes) and blocks them, preventing your sperm from exiting through your semen.
The procedure takes only minutes, and you’re free to go home afterward, which brings us to life after a vasectomy.
When you arrive home after your procedure, you may feel some soreness in your groin, which can last a day or two. You can easily handle this discomfort with a bag of frozen peas and some over-the-counter pain relievers. And the discomfort will be short-lived because of our scalpel-free technique.
You’re also free to return to work immediately, but we do recommend that you avoid strenuous activities for a week or two to ensure that your body has ample time to heal properly.
And, in case you’re wondering, strenuous activity doesn’t include sex. You may resume sexual activity as soon as you’re comfortable enough to do so. But, and this is a BIG but:
Wait for confirmation
A vasectomy, when successful, offers 99.8% protection, but to make sure you have that protection in place, you’ll need to return to our offices in 6-12 weeks so we can conduct a semen analysis. During this time, you should take appropriate measures to guard yourself with alternative birth control measures, because you may still have residual sperm in your system. Besides, we want to make sure that the vasectomy was effective, too.
The green light
Once you receive the green light, which means that your semen doesn’t contain any sperm, you’re most unlikely to father any children in the future, unless we reverse the procedure. But this is the only change you should expect. Many of our patients ask us whether a vasectomy changes sex in any way and the answer is “No.” You will still ejaculate the same amount of semen, just without the little swimmers that fertilize eggs.
If for whatever reason, you decide that you want to father children again, we can reverse your procedure. We’d like to warn you that the reversal is a little more involved than the original vasectomy and will include a scalpel. To reverse the blocks we put in place, we need a larger access point to go back in and reconnect each of your vas deferens tubes.
If you have any more questions about a vasectomy, please feel free to give us a call. Or you can schedule a consultation using the online booking tool found on this website.