Five Things to Know About a Vasectomy:

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that results in male sterilization. The procedure involves severing and sealing of the vas deferens, a tube in the testes that delivers sperm during ejaculation. The procedure takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes and is an outpatient procedure. Most men return to work within a day or two.

What is a no scalpel vasectomy?

The no scalpel vasectomy involves two special tools instead of scalpel and needle. A special high-pressure anesthetic is used to numb and spread blood vessels instead of cutting and results in a less traumatic handling of vas deferens. This procedure typically reduces bleeding, hematoma, infection, and pain. Recovery time is significantly reduced compared to the traditional vasectomy procedure using a scalpel.

Does a vasectomy hurt?

Contrary to concerns about pain with a vasectomy, most patients experience little pain during and after the procedure. No nerves are interfered with during the procedure. Men can experience some swelling for a few days and bruising for up to a week.

How effective is a vasectomy?

No form of birth control is 100% effective. There is about a 0.15% chance of pregnancy after the first few months of a vasectomy. This is primarily due to live sperm still present in semen. There is also a 0.025% that the vas deference can reattach, thus reintroducing sperm into the ejaculate. Overall, it is a very effective procedure.

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

A vasectomy may be reversed. The success of a reversal declines with time. The longer between procedures the less effective a reversal is. Reversals are typically more successful within the first ten years of a vasectomy, upwards of 50%. Men that wait to have a reversal ten or more years have up to a 30% chance of impregnating their partner. The outpatient procedure is about three hours long with pain between mild and moderate. Men may resume normal activities, to include sex, within three weeks of the procedure.

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