A vasectomy is a popular form of birth control for men who do not want to have any more children. This 15 minute procedure, usually performed in the office, results in the permanent removal of sperm out of the ejaculate.
In men, the two testicles produce sperm which are responsible for fertility. Sperm make their way to the penis through a long tube, called the vas. The vasectomy simply is a procedure that closes the vas tubes so that the sperm does not leave the testicles. Sperm are still made by the testes but can no longer pass up through the vas tubes.There are various methods to block the vas tubes. At the Broward Urology Center, our physicians have been trained to employ multiple methods to guarantee success. The “no scalpel” vasectomy is performed with a portion of each vas tube removed. The remaining edges are burned and closed with permanent titanium clips or sutures to guarantee that the two ends do not grow back together.
A vasectomy is NOT the removal of testicles and does NOT affect the testosterone hormone levels. Thus, there is no change in your sex drive, no change in erections, no change in orgasm, no noticeable change in ejaculation, and no change in testicular size. You will still ejaculate with orgasms but the ejaculate will be more clear.
Typically, a vasectomy is about a 15-20 minute procedure.
Mild discomfort is expected, if only with the initial injection. The vasectomy is done under a local anesthetic that is injected with a very tiny needle to numb the scrotal skin and the vas tubes. You may feel a very brief stinging and burning from the injection and at times some tugging during the procedure. Afterwards, the area will be numb for several hours but after that, a dull ache is common for the first day. Pain control is managed with icepacks applied to the scrotum and a few doses of pain killers are provided but are usually not needed.
No scalpels are used in the procedure. After an injection of a numbing medication in the scrotal skin, a very small opening in the skin is made. Through this opening, the vas tubes are found, cut, burned and clipped or sutured. The incision is typically very tiny and seals within hours. Most of the time, no stitches are needed on the skin.
Risks of a vasectomy include:
About 6% of men undergoing a vasectomy eventually seek reversal surgery. Reversing a vasectomy is possible, however the success rate is not 100%, thus you should always consider it a permanent form of sterilization.
The vasectomy does NOT protect you from any sexually transmitted diseases.
Most men need just a few days of rest for recovery. Most of the vasectomies we perform are typically scheduled on Thursday or Friday so as to give men the weekend for recovery and most are able return to work just three day later.
NO! Though the connection between the penis and testes is closed after a vasectomy, there are parts of the vas tubes that still contain live sperm. About 98% of men are sperm-free after 20-30 ejaculations and/or 12 weeks post-procedure. In 5% of men, the semen may still contain some sperm (usually few in number and not active) for months, so it is very important to have a semen sample checked and to use other forms of birth control until it is confirmed by microscopic examination that the semen is sperm-free. You will get two sterile cups into which you will ejaculate a sample for us to examine under the microscope at 6 weeks and at 8 weeks after the vasectomy.
Yes. Sperm banking is a great option for men to store sperm prior to having a vasectomy. Though sperm may be retrieved directly from the testicles in the future after a vasectomy, freezing the sperm is another safeguard if you ever change your mind about having more kids. Frozen sperm may be thawed and used in in vitro fertilization procedures. More information may be found by contacting the following companies:
You can expect some bruising (black and blue) and mild redness at the site of the incision. If you had sutures placed in your incision, they will dissolve and fall out within 5-10 days. There may be some yellow or white discharge from the incision as the sutures dissolve. This is normal. You may notice a small open gap at the site of the incision after the sutures fall out, this is normal and will close up over time. You may notice some firmness in and around the incision site. It will soften, flatten and return to normal within a few weeks.
A vasectomy does not make you immediately infertile. There are still sperm in the tube, above where it was cut. It takes 6-8 weeks (30-40 ejaculations) for all the sperm to leave your body. Blood in the semen within the first month or two after the vasectomy is expected. Instructions will be provided the day of your procedure for follow up semen testing.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain relief is acceptable. You may take two extra strength or three regular strength tablets every 6 hours. It is the safest of all the pain relievers.
Either ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) 600mg every eight hours or naproxen (Aleve) one tablet twice a day may be taken instead of Tylenol if you prefer, but since these medications increase the chance of bleeding, we recommend that most patients take them at least 24 hours after the procedure. The doctor will also provide a prescription for a narcotic medication as well.