Whether you’ve had completed your family with your desired number of kids or your family is complete without them, vasectomies are one of the most effective forms of birth control available. There are an estimated 50 million men worldwide who have had a vasectomy, with approximately 5% of married men of reproductive age have had this operation. Despite the popularity of this procedure, it’s normal to have questions about what to expect from your vasectomy. In this blog, we aim to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, from preparation to recovery.
What is a Vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a form of permanent birth control for men that works by cutting off the supply of sperm from the semen. Sperm is created in the testicles and then travels from the testicles through tubes called the vas deferens to join other fluid to make semen. Because sperm is needed in order to fertilize an egg leading to pregnancy, a vasectomy cuts or punctures the vas deferens to prevent sperm from getting into the semen. About three months after a vasectomy, there will no longer be any sperm left in the semen.
Prior to getting a vasectomy, it’s important to know the facts, and this means clearing up any unfounded claims surrounding this procedure. First and foremost, getting a vasectomy will not affect your sexual performance, hormones, or libido in any way. Post vasectomy, the body will still produce the same amount of semen during ejaculation. The only difference is there is no semen present, and the ejaculation will not result in pregnancy. While a vasectomy is highly effective in preventing pregnancy, it will not protect against sexually transmitted infections. There is no evidence to support that getting a vasectomy increases your risk of developing certain heart disease or cancer conditions. Finally, a vasectomy typically does not cause severe pain. You may experience minor pain or mild discomfort during the procedure or for a couple of days following, but this generally subsides after a few days.
Preparing for Your Vasectomy
Although vasectomy reversals exist, they are not always 100% effective, so it’s important to be certain that you do not want to father a child in the future. In the days leading up to your vasectomy, your doctor will have you arrange for a ride home to avoid pressure on the area caused by driving. Your doctor may also recommend that you stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or other blood-thinning medications in the days leading up to your vasectomy. They may also suggest that you bring a pair of supportive underwear to help minimize swelling and support the scrotum.
What to Expect From Your Vasectomy
It’s normal to have bruising, pain, and swelling for a day or two following your surgery. While uncommon, it’s important to ensure there are no signs of infection, such as fever or worsening pain. Use the first 24 hours after your vasectomy to rest, and while you can return to light activity after about two to three days, you should avoid heavy lifting or vigorous activity for a week. It’s also recommended to avoid any sexual activity for a week as well. It is estimated that sperm remains in the semen for about 15 to 20 ejaculations following a vasectomy, so it’s important to use a backup birth control method for the first several weeks following your surgery to avoid pregnancy. For any questions or concerns, you can always reach out to Alliance Urology Specialists.
Make an Appointment
For questions about the male reproductive system or to schedule a service with one of our providers, contact Alliance Urology Specialists today. Our team has years of experience treating issues pertaining to the urinary tract, male infertility, pelvic floor dysfunction, and more. Alliance Urology Specialists offers in-office procedures such as Rezūm, vasectomy, and more. For questions and inquiries, please call our office in Greensboro at (336) 274-1114.