For many couples, having a reliable and permanent method of birth control equates to peace of mind. Many women are unable to take hormones for a variety of reasons; therefore, a vasectomy may be an option worth exploring. A vasectomy is a procedure done to block or cut both of the vas deferens tubes within the scrotum (tubes that carry sperm). If the sperm cannot make it out of the tubes, and into the vagina, it is impossible to achieve pregnancy. If you are in a committed relationship, already have children and/or you and your partner are confident that you will not want any future children, a vasectomy might be right for you.
However, many men are still reluctant to take the plunge. Some are concerned about the pain and recovery. Some are concerned about potential sexual side effects. Some are worried they may regret it, or that it somehow won’t work, and they could still get their partner pregnant. Let’s assuage these fears!
First, let’s address pain and recovery. A vasectomy is a minimally invasive and thus minimally painful procedure. Your doctor will first make you as comfortable as possible and use local anesthesia to numb up the area. At Maze, we perform what is called the “no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy.” This is when the doctor makes one tiny puncture hole to reach both vas deferens. Your tubes are then tied off, cauterized, or blocked, and the puncture site heals quickly. No stitches or scarring required! This method also helps to reduce bleeding, bruising and risk for infection. A win-win!
Next let’s discuss potential issues with reliability. After a vasectomy, you may be uncomfortable for a few days. You can start to have sex after the discomfort subsides, but just remember that the vasectomy WILL NOT prevent pregnancy right away. It does take a good 3 months from the time of the procedure for your semen to be completely free of sperm. Therefore, you will want to use a condom or other form of birth control during penetrative vaginal sex until that time. At the 3-month mark, your doctor will check your semen to make sure there is no sperm – and then, you get the green light! At this point you can be assured that this method of birth control is more than 99% effective!
A vasectomy is one of the most reliable forms of birth control available, and this peace of mind can be very reassuring for both partners in the relationship.
Now – let’s talk about sex! One very important point to make is that a vasectomy will NEVER prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted infection. So, if that is a concern, a condom is still the best bet. With regard to erectile functioning after vasectomy – impotence is EXTREMELY rare. This is because erections and ejaculation involve stimulating nerves, increasing blood flow to the penis, muscle contractions and mental stimulation. A vasectomy only affects the vas deferens – whose only job is to help carry sperm from the testes. In fact, erectile dysfunction sometimes can improve after a vasectomy. When a couple can have sex without the worry of pregnancy, they relax and can enjoy the experience that much more!