A vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control. Depending on your anatomy, one or two incisions are made in the scrotum. Then the vas deferens are separated from the spermatic cord, pulled through the incision, cut, and the ends closed.
Podcast: Vasectomy - what it is, and what you should know, featuring Dr. Kevin Ostrowski:
The operation takes about half an hour. You'll be awake during the procedure. Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to numb your scrotum. You may also request sedation to lessen anxiety.
After you're numb, your doctor will make a small opening on one side of your scrotum and pull out part of the vas deferens on that side. You may feel some tugging and pulling. A small section of the vas deferens is removed. The ends of the vas deferens will be sealed by searing them shut with heat, or by using another method. Your doctor will then do the same thing on the other side.
Our vasectomy and vasectomy reversal clinic serves patients from throughout the Seattle area, with patients utilizing our services from as far south as Olympia and Tacoma and as far north as Everett and Snohomish.
Fortunately the vasectomy procedure is covered by most major medical insurance. Your actual out-of-pocket costs may vary depending on your individual insurance.
The no-scalpel vasectomy involves making a very small puncture (a hole) in the scrotum instead of an incision. The puncture is so small that it heals without stitches.
Vasectomy may be the safest, most effective kind of birth control. Only about 15 out of 10,000 couples get pregnant the first year after a vasectomy. This compares to approximately a 0.5 percent failure rate for female sterilization. The FDA puts the failure rates for condoms at 11 percent.
A vasectomy should be considered permanent. This isn’t something we can turn on and off but is a great option for a permanent form of birth control. After a vasectomy it is possible to be reversed or to get pregnant through IVF (in-vitro fertilization) but both of these options aren’t guaranteed to be successful. Both of these are often not covered by insurance.
On the day of the operation, bring a jockstrap (an athletic supporter) with you and make sure your genital area is clean. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to clean the area before you come in. If you have sedation you will need someone to drive you home.
Right after the operation, your doctor will have you lie down for a couple of hours with an ice pack placed on your scrotum. Recovery usually takes a few days. The general advice is to wear supportive underwear, keep the area iced (especially in the first few days) and to rest and take things easy for a few days. If you have a physical job, then please make sure you explain this to the doctor when you have your consultation, and take their advice.
Don't take aspirin, ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), ketoprofen (brand name: Orudis) or naproxen (brand name: Aleve) for two weeks before or after the operation. All of these can thin your blood and cause bleeding. Try acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) to relieve pain.
If you have a non-physical job, expect to return to work after a couple of days. If you do heavy physical labor, talk with your doctor about when you can go back to work.
No. You'll need to ejaculate as many as 15 to 20 times before the sperm will be cleared from both the vas deferens. For that reason, keep using birth control. The majority of men are able to start having unprotected intercourse after three months. Some men will take longer due to a variety of factors.
The most common post surgery after effects are bruising, swelling, discomfort, post procedure infections and scrotal hematoma. These complications are routine, and usually easy to resolve.
Call your doctor if you notice any of these signs:
Once sperm can't get through the vas deferens, your testicles will begin making fewer sperm. Your body will absorb the sperm that are made.
After you have healed from the vasectomy, your sex life should not change at all. You will still ejaculate almost the same amount of semen as you did before, and you won't notice a change in your sex drive. Some couples say their sex life is better after a vasectomy because they are no longer worried about getting pregnant.