Are you considering having a vasectomy? It’s natural to have a lot of questions about this medical procedure. Will it be painful? What exactly happens “down there?” When can I get “back in the game?”
Our three providers who perform this procedure have answers to the most common and sometimes embarrassing questions you may have about a vasectomy so you can approach this decision with as much confidence as possible.
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a medical procedure for a man that prevents his sperm from entering his semen, effectively making him sterile or unable to impregnate a woman. A vasectomy is considered a safe and permanent form of birth control.
Does it hurt?
No, a vasectomy does not hurt although some patients report a tugging or pulling sensation during the procedure. Your doctor will numb the scrotum with a local anesthetic using a small needle, which may cause a brief moment of discomfort. For patients experiencing heightened anxiety, Hudson Physicians now offers the option for conscious sedation using Nitrous oxide in addition to the local anesthesia, but you will still be awake for the entire procedure.
How long does it take?
A vasectomy is not overly complicated and can be completed in your doctor’s office in about 20 to 30 minutes.
How do I know when I’m sterile?
It’s also important to note that sterilization is not 100% complete when you leave the surgery. The sperm count in your ejaculate decreases gradually to zero over the course of about two months (or 20 ejaculations) during which you should use alternative birth control methods. A semen sample test is recommended three months after the procedure to ensure sperm is no longer present in the semen.
What exactly does the doctor do “down there?”
After the doctor has numbed the area, they will make very small punctures on each side of the scrotum to access the vas deferens. The vas deferens are tubes that transport sperm from the testicles to the urethra. The doctor will disconnect the vas deferens by severing or even removing part of the tubes.
How does a vasectomy affect ejaculation?
Ejaculation after a vasectomy remains the same as it was before the procedure. There’s no change in the ability to ejaculate or the appearance of the ejaculate fluid.
Men who can get an erection and ejaculate before the vasectomy will still be able to do so after the procedure. The only change to ejaculation is that the semen will no longer contain sperm.
The first few ejaculations may feel somewhat uncomfortable, but this discomfort should not persist for too long. There may also be a small amount of blood in the semen.
How long is the recovery?
For the first 24 hours, it is recommended that you rest as you may experience some bruising, light scaring, discoloration, or swelling in the area. After two or three days you can expect to return to work and perform light activities. Avoid engaging in sex, sports, exercising, and heavy lifting for at least seven days.
What is Vas Madness?
If you’re a basketball fan, you may want to schedule your vasectomy in March to coincide with the NCAA college basketball tournaments. This time of year is especially popular for vasectomies, and has been dubbed by urologists as “Vas Madness.” Why? It’s the perfect excuse to recover on the couch for a few days under doctor’s orders while enjoying a sporting event.
What if I change my mind?
A vasectomy reversal is possible, but it is a much more complicated and delicate procedure.
There are many factors to consider when you are facing the realities of a vasectomy. Take the time to carefully weigh your decision, and be sure to explore all birth control options with your partner before deciding to get the snip.
Contact your provider with any further questions you have about vasectomies or your health.
Schedule your vasectomy
Call 715-531-6800 to schedule an appointment.