A vasectomy is an important and life-changing decision. For some men, it’s a good choice; for others, it’s still too early. Make sure you have all of the information before you decide the path that’s right for you.
- The Procedure Doesn’t Involve a Scalpel
There are two forms of vasectomy: incision vasectomies and no-scalpel vasectomies. 13Snip Brisbane uses a no-scalpel procedure.
In this operation, a small hole is punctured in the scrotum. The physician pulls out both vas deferens, snips and cauterizes them, and returns them through the hole. This procedure is relatively painless and only takes about 20 minutes to perform.
The no-scalpel procedure is generally considered to be safer. There’s significantly less bleeding, a lower risk of infection, and no need for stitches. The small hole typically heals very quickly.
- There Are Side Effects, but They Aren’t Drastic
There’s a lot of misinformation about vasectomies. Common myths suggest that a vasectomy will cause testicular cancer or induce erectile dysfunction.
These statements are simply untrue. A vasectomy involves the disconnection of the vas deferens. This prevents live sperm from making it into the semen before ejaculation. The vas deferens doesn’t serve any other purpose, so there’s no chance that a vasectomy could impact the rest of your sexual function.
That said, a vasectomy is still a surgery. Expect minor swelling and discomfort after the anesthesia wears off. Every surgery has a chance of complications; contact your doctor if you notice bleeding, experience persistent pain, or have difficulty urinating.
And of course, don’t forget the intended side effect: after a vasectomy, you will no longer produce fertile semen.
- You Will Need a Week to Recover
It’s possible to become sexually active a few days after the procedure, but many doctors warn against overdoing it. You’ve just undergone a small surgery; irritating the area could cause pain and swelling.
Unless you’re feeling particularly confident, wait at least a week to perform manual labor or resume sexual activity. You will experience far less pain if you give yourself time to heal.
Take care of yourself immediately after the vasectomy. Take the pressure off, apply an ice pack, and rest. Check on the surgical site and contact your doctor if you notice any signs of infection.
- It Takes a Few Months for Fertility to Decline
A vasectomy prevents new sperm from entering the seminal fluid, but any existing sperm can remain viable for several weeks.
Your doctor will perform a semen analysis 6 to 12 weeks after the surgery. This analysis will confirm that there is no longer any sperm in your semen.
Until you’ve had this analysis, keep using standard birth control methods. Otherwise, you’ll be risking a pregnancy even after undergoing this procedure.
A vasectomy doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Even if your fertility rate is zero, you’ll still need to use a condom in certain sexual situations.
- Vasectomy Reversal Is Not Always Effective
Due to the nature of the procedure, vasectomy reversal is a distinct possibility. The vas deferens can be reconnected and resume transmitting sperm.
But even if the reversal is performed, it isn’t always effective. If the reversal is successful, fertility rates after the procedure will range between 30% and 90%. Some reversals require a more complicated surgery called a vasoepididymostomy.
A vasectomy reversal is expensive and increases your risk of surgical complications. For this reason, you should consider every vasectomy to be a permanent procedure. If there’s any chance that you will still want to have children, you should not risk a failed reversal.
A good rule to follow is that if you are concerned about a reversal before you have had the vasectomy, you may not be ready for the procedure.
- You Can Freeze Sperm for Later
Even if you are completely certain about getting a vasectomy, you may still change your mind about your desire to have children.
To prepare for this, consider banking a few samples of your sperm. Fertility centers will cryogenically store sperm for extended periods, although the average length of time is 10 years.
This method is not completely effective; frozen sperm tends to lose some viability over time. However, the rates are actually quite successful, and children born from in-vitro fertilization don’t suffer any medical complications.
You should consider storing a sample even if you are completely sure that you do not want to have kids. Life’s many circumstances can slowly change even the most steadfast of opinions, and children are a rare and unique opportunity.
- This Decision Is Yours
There are many reasons to get a vasectomy. If you’re reading this article, you have already considered many of them. Sexual freedom, genetic complications, and financial burdens are all good reasons to have this procedure.
However, there are also many reasons not to get a vasectomy. This is a permanent procedure and should only be undertaken after careful deliberation.
Don’t get surgery if you are under pressure from family members. Likewise, don’t make this decision during a stressful part of your life. If you are working too many hours, experiencing a great personal loss, or struggling with a severe financial situation, you are not in a position to make a life-changing decision of this nature.
Many local governments require that you take at least 30 days of deliberation before you can commit to a vasectomy. Other governments let you schedule the procedure immediately. Regardless of the rules in your home town, give yourself a personal one-month deliberation window. Simply push your appointment back so that you have time to consider your decision.
Take yourself out of your current position and think about your goals in life. A vasectomy may lead you towards sexual, financial, or personal success. However, once you have achieved that success, you may suddenly find that you still want to have kids.
Your current partner may have asked you to undergo the procedure. It is true that vasectomies are significantly cheaper and safer than most female sterilization procedures. However, this is a strong statement of faith in the longevity of your relationship. Should you remarry, your future partner may regret your inability to reproduce.
If you’ve already had children, a vasectomy is an easier decision. You may have decided that your family is already large enough. Some men in this situation still undergo a reversal if a child is lost later on.
It is important to consider both the positives and negatives of a vasectomy before you make your final decision. Take care of both your current self and your future self. If you decide to go through with it, make a backup just in case.