Vasectomy is a surgical procedure where a man’s ability to produce sperms is cut or blocked to avoid pregnancy in a woman. Sperms are made in the testicles and released through tubes called vas deferens and mixes with other fluids to make semen.
In vasectomy, the vas deferens tubes are cut to stop the semen from carrying sperms. The sperms in the testicles will then be absorbed by the body. About three months after vasectomy, your semen will no longer contain sperms, but your semen still remains the same. Until then, you may need to use contraceptives as it takes time for the remaining sperms in the vas deferens tubes to clear out. However, this varies from man to man.
Vasectomy is almost 100% effective. It is a permanent procedure and so, a good amount of thought should be invested before opting for this procedure.
Vasectomy is reversible. However, it is not an easy procedure nor is it always successful. If a reverse procedure is done ten years after vasectomy, the success rate is 55% and decreases to 25% if more than ten years have lapsed. Pregnancy is not always guaranteed even if the vas deferens tubes are joined again.
Types of Vasectomy
There are two types of Vasectomy:
- The Conventional Vasectomy with a scalpel– incisions are made in the tubes to block the sperms.
- No Scalpel Vasectomy– a tiny puncture in the scrotum with no incision to block the sperms.
- Your doctor may ask you to go through counselling to ensure it is the right form of birth control for you.
- Consult with your doctor for any other birth control measures.
- Discuss with your doctor which type of vasectomy is suitable for you.
- You have to be sure that you no longer desire to produce children or do not want any children at all.
- You have to understand that vasectomy is permanent and reversing it will not always be successful.
- You will be asked to stop any blood thinning medication or aspirin days before your surgery, if you are currently taking any.
- Shower or bathe on the day of surgery and ensure that the genital area is well cleaned.
- You may need to bring a tight-fitting underwear or athletic supporter to wear after surgery to avoid any discomfort.
- Make sure that someone drives you home to avoid any pressure while driving.
- The procedure takes around 10 – 30 minutes.
- You will be given local anaesthesia, so the genital area will be numbed and you will not feel any pain while being awake.
- A small incision will be made on the scrotum to locate the vas deferens tubes that carry your sperm from the testicles.
- In case of a no scalpel, a small puncture (hole) will be made instead of an incision.
- The vas deferens tubes will be taken out of the scrotum and cuts will be made.
- Sometimes, a tiny part of each tube is cut.
- The tubes are then sealed by tying, cauterising (using electrical current), clipped or a combination of these may be used.
- The tubes are returned to the scrotum.
- The incision is stitched up.
- In case of a puncture, no stitching is required and will close over time.
- You will experience some mild pain, discomfort or swelling which will go off in a few days.
- You may need to wear a tight-fitting underwear for about 48 hours and change it everyday.
- You may also want to apply ice packs on your scrotum for about two days.
- You may limit your activities and rest for 24 hours after surgery as overdoing could lead to bleeding inside the scrotum or pain.
- You may avoid sexual activity for a week but can resume when it is comfortable to do so.
- You may need to wear contraception at least for the 8–12 weeks as it takes time for the remaining sperms in the tubes to clear out.
- It is common to ejaculate blood in your semen after vasectomy.
- About 12 weeks after the surgery, you will be asked for a semen sample to check whether you are sperm-free or not.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, it is not without risks and complications but can be treated easily. Some small effects involved are:
- Bleeding or blood clot inside the scrotum
- Blood in the semen
- Mild pain or discomfort
- Bruising of the scrotum
Factors affecting the cost of Vasectomy
Several factors can affect the cost price such as:
- Location of the hospital
- Choice of the hospital
- Surgeon’s fee
- Medical tests