Questions You Should Ask Your Urologist About A Vasectomy

Becoming a parent is a long-term commitment. Most people love having kids, and some may ask the question, how did you end up with so many kids? OK, maybe it’s just one or possibly two, but for some, that may still feel like a lot. If you’re ready to be done with 2am feedings and panic attacks about being able to put them through school and college, or just feel like you are content with the size of your family, it might be time to start talking about the “V” word: Vasectomy. There are reasons why men want to receive a vasectomy, considering it is a minimally invasive, cost-effective, and effective form of birth control.

Snip, snip. Research has shown that about 500,000 men choose vasectomy as a form of permanent birth control annually in the United States. For some men, a vasectomy is believed to be the best option to guarantee that they will not have any more children. However, a vasectomy is first and foremost considered a permanent procedure.

What is A Vasectomy?

During vasectomy, the tubes that provide sperm to mix with semen are interrupted, or “snipped”. In the male reproductive system, there are two tubes that are responsible for carrying sperm to the epididymis, where the semen is stored prior to ejaculation. These are called the vas deferens. 

Simply, a vasectomy is a procedure that makes a man permanently unable to get a woman pregnant, because the vas deferens are cut or blocked. While the body can still make sperm after a vasectomy, sperm can no longer get into the semen and is absorbed by the body. Therefore, if a man ejaculates into the women’s vagina, they will not be able to conceive a child any longer. Only about one or two out of 1,000 couples get pregnant the first year after a vasectomy.

A vasectomy is performed as an outpatient procedure in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia and takes approximately 30 minutes. During the actual procedure, the doctor will apply a local anesthetic to numb the scrotum, where the testes are. After you’re numb, a very small incision or hole will be made on one side of your scrotum to pull out part of the vas deferens and seal the tube with tiny sutures.

With today’s evolving medical technology, vasectomies can now be reversed if a couple decides they would actually like to have children. Truth is, don’t have a vasectomy unless you and your partner are absolutely sure that you don’t want to have children,or any more children in the future. 

Get the Most Out of Your Vasectomy Consultation 

So, before you make the decision to go with a permanent option, you will want to ask your urologist all of the right questions during your consultation. Be sure you learn everything that you want to know about the vasectomy procedure before you make a life changing decision for you and your partner. In addition, this consultation is an important meeting between you and your urologist. This is where you find out more about vasectomy surgery, whether you may be a candidate for surgery, is this even the right decision, and if this is the right surgeon for you. 

1.     Can a vasectomy be reversed?

Some vasectomies can be undone, or “reversed,” but the surgery is rare, difficult, more invasive, and often quite costly. If you and your partner decide that you would like to have more kids, reversing the vasectomy is possible, but there are no guarantees about reproductive success.

2.     Will a vasectomy affect my sex life?

After you have healed from the vasectomy, there should be little or no change in your sex life or sex drive. While men will still ejaculate semen, the sperm is absent from the semen.

3.     What are the risks of getting a vasectomy?

Problems that might occur after getting a vasectomy may include bleeding, infection, and mild inflammation. Complications are quite rare, because it is a fairly simple procedure

4.     How should I prepare for a vasectomy?

On the day of the procedure, the doctor will ask you to bring a jockstrap with you, and to make sure your genital area is clean. Instructions will be given both before and after surgery.

5.     What to do after my vasectomy?

After the vasectomy, your doctor will give you instructions to follow. You may have some pain, swelling, and bruising in the area, but that should start to disappear within a week or two.

6.     Will the vasectomy work right away?

No. A vasectomy will not take effect immediately. It takes up to three months before the sperm will be cleared out of the semen in the vas deferens. Therefore, it is recommended by the doctor to keep using some form of birth control (condoms) for the time being. To analyze or know when the vasectomy is in effect, the doctor will ask you to bring in samples of your ejaculation two or three months after the procedure. Only after you have a sperm-free sample will the procedure be considered effective, and men will be unable to get a woman pregnant. 

7.     Who is the ideal candidate for a vasectomy?

While there are no guidelines or perfect vasectomy candidate, there are several characteristics that should be taken into consideration when making this decision. The best candidates for a vasectomy may include: 

  • Men that are mature enough to make such an important and permanent decision.
  • Men that are secure in their desire to not have children at all or any more children, due to being content with their family’s size.
  • Men who may be concerned about passing on a genetic trait of a hereditary disability or condition. 

It is important to note, that any man considering a vasectomy should engage in a serious discussion with his partner first, to determine if a vasectomy is the right option. If so, consulting with a urologist is the next step.

To find out more information about the vasectomy procedure, and if you may be a candidate, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with Dr. Steinberg.