A vasectomy is a minor outpatient surgical procedure that effectively prevents pregnancy
When a man makes the life decision that he no longer wants to be able to get a woman pregnant, a vasectomy is the most effective form of permanent birth control. According to the Urology Care Foundation™, in the first year after a vasectomy, only about 1 or 2 women in 1000 will get pregnant, which is a 99.85% effectiveness rate.
Most of us know that a vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control. You probably know that it is a minor surgical procedure, normally done right in the office under local anesthesia.
Let’s spend a couple of minutes looking at the details of what actually happens during a vasectomy. First, though, a little anatomy.
The scrotum is the sac which holds the testicles, or testes. The testicles are the male equivalent of the ovaries, which produce eggs.
Sperm, which is only one small component of semen, is created in the testicles. The sperm then passes to the epididymis, a series of convoluted tubes attached to the front of the testicle, in which the sperm are nurtured and mature. The ripe sperm then pass into the vas deferens, the thin tube that travels out of the scrotum, through the prostate gland and into the urethra of the penis. Sperm make up less than 5% of the bulk of semen. Around 65% of the volume comes from the seminal vessicles, a pair of glands just behind the prostate and 30% comes from the prostate. These extra fluids feed the sperm and help them survive.
A vasectomy is the surgical dissection of the vas deferens. It involves making two very small incisions near the base of the scrotum and cutting the vas deferens. The vas deferens are then tied off or cauterized. Having a vasectomy does not have an impact on your sex drive or your ability to perform sexually. It only means that the sperm you produce (because you will keep producing them) are absorbed into your body instead of getting someone pregnant.
To find out more about this simple, life-changing procedure, or to discuss any other urological concerns you may have, please contact us. We’ll be back in touch quickly, to find out how we here at Austin Urology can help you maximize your urological health.
How does a vasectomy work?
During the procedure, the doctor cuts the vas deferens so that no sperm can mix with and enter the semen during ejaculation, thus preventing pregnancy. Our Urology Austin physicians will talk with you about the vasectomy procedure and your recovery from vasectomy in detail. The procedure is done in our office or an outpatient surgery center under local anesthesia. The vasectomy only takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
After the vasectomy, it’s important for patients to remember to continue using an alternate form of birth control until the 2-month check-up. At that appointment, we do a sperm count test to be certain that the sperm count is zero.
Things to consider
Before having a vasectomy, talk with your partner and physician about everything that’s involved.
Understand that a vasectomy is permanent birth control. While a vasectomy can potentially be reversed, you should be certain that you are committed to this decision because a vasectomy reversal is a more involved procedure, usually done in a hospital, and not all insurance plans cover this operation.
Consider the risks involved with a vasectomy. While most men have no post-operative problems, there are certain risks involved, including:
- Pain, discomfort
- Infection at the incision site
- A lump forming in the scrotum
- Swelling of the vas deferens
Very rarely, there is a possibility of the vas deferens reconnecting, which allows semen to get into the sperm again which could result in pregnancy.
Despite having a vasectomy, men still need to protect themselves from STD’s. Men still need to use a condom to protect themselves from STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases) and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
There are other benefits to think about when considering a vasectomy. These include:
- A vasectomy is safer for men than a tubal ligation is for women. It is also less expensive.
- The cost of a vasectomy may be less expensive over time than the cost of other birth control methods (such as monthly birth control pills or condoms).
Finally, a vasectomy will not affect your sex life. Despite some popular myths, having a vasectomy will not affect your sex drive or your performance.
If you are considering this procedure, you can put your faith in the experience and expertise of our Urology Austin physicians. Contact us to make an appointment and learn more about how a vasectomy may work for you. We serve patients from Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and the surrounding areas.