You’re not keen on the idea of becoming a father in the future, so you’re considering a vasectomy. Each year in the United States, half a million men undergo this simple and effective procedure to achieve the same goal.
To help with your decision-making, our board-certified urologist Dr. Robert Cornell pulled together some salient points about a vasectomy — most of them good. Let’s take a look.
In brief, a vasectomy is a procedure that prevents sperm from passing through your vas deferens, the thin ducts that carry sperm to your urethra, where it mixes with ejaculate before expulsion.
No scalpel needed
While surgeons traditionally used a scalpel to access your vas deferens, Dr. Cornell uses a no-scalpel technique. Instead of a scalpel, Dr. Cornell accesses your vas deferens with a needle, which he passes through your scrotum.
Since there are no incisions, your recovery time and risk for infection are greatly reduced. Not to mention, Dr. Cornell performs the no-scalpel procedure in mere minutes, and you’re free to go home afterward.
Recovery is brief
As we mentioned, your recovery from a no-scalpel vasectomy is much quicker and smoother. You may feel some soreness in your scrotum for a few days, which is easily resolved with an ice pack and over-the-counter medications.
We also ask that you refrain from strenuous activity, including sex, for a week or two after your vasectomy (we will discuss your exact timeline while you’re here).
You need to keep using birth control for a while
After your vasectomy, residual sperm in your vas deferens can still make its way into your semen, so it’s important that you use interim birth control methods until we give you the greenlight.
At the six- and 12-week marks after your vasectomy, we perform analyses to detect any live sperm. If both of these show no signs of active sperm, you’re free to rely solely on the vasectomy moving forward for preventing an unplanned pregnancy.
You can still ejaculate
When you ejaculate, sperm travels down your vas deferens and into your urethra, where it mixes with semen before ejaculation. After your vasectomy, you can still ejaculate, as the pathways for your semen are unaffected.
A vasectomy is one of the more effective birth control methods available, featuring a near-perfect effectiveness of 99.99%.
Changing your mind
If you change your mind down the road, though this procedure is more involved than the original vasectomy. You can also have sperm aspirated directly from your testicles for artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.
As you can see, there are many upsides to a vasectomy in terms of effectiveness, convenience, and safety. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office in Houston, Texas, to set up an appointment.