A permanent form of birth control.
The vasectomy procedure is an in-office, minimally invasive birth control option for men. This minor surgical procedure is performed using a local anesthesia, has a short recovery time, and can be completed in under 30 minutes.
The vasectomy procedure
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 one component of semen, is created in the testicles. Sperm passes to the epididymis in which they are nurtured and mature. During ejaculation, sperm move through the vas deferens, the prostate gland, and out of the penis through the urethra. Sperm make up less than 5% of semen. Approximately 65% of semen volume comes from the seminal vesicles, while 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. Afterward they are tied off or cauterized. Having a vasectomy does not impact the patient’s sex drive or their ability to perform sexually. It simply means that sperm are absorbed into the body rather than being ejaculated during intercourse.
After the procedure, patients are directed to continue using an alternative form of birth control until testing proves they no longer have sperm in their ejaculate. Patients who undergo this procedure will be advised by their surgeon regarding follow-up directions and testing. Men should consider themselves fertile until they have been advised by their provider.
As with any medical procedure, there are some risk involved with having a vasectomy. While most of these are generally minor, men should be aware of the following possibilities:
- Pain or discomfort in the scrotal are.
- Infection at the incision site.
- A lump forming in the scrotum.
- Swelling of the vas deferens.
Very rarely, there is a possibility that the vas deferens will reconnect, which allows sperm into the semen which could result in pregnancy.
Despite having a vasectomy, men should still protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
Men who choose a vasectomy may benefit from the following:
- 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).
- The vasectomy procedure should not affect sexual desire or performance.
- Depending on certain criteria, vasectomies may be reversed if the patient chooses to become a father.
If you are interested in scheduling a vasectomy consultation, contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists.