Serving all of Southwest Forida. Call today for FREE Medical Exam & Consultation. 239-596-8886

FAQ for Vasectomy

Vasectomy Patient Education

Q?

Vasectomy (Permanent Male Contraception)

A.

Vasectomy is a simple, in-office procedure with potentially life changing effects. Because a vasectomy is designed to be a permanent solution to male fertility, the patient should give careful consideration before undergoing the procedure. Vasectomy removes the fear of an unwanted pregnancy, but is difficult to reverse.
Vasectomy prevents sperm from traveling from the testicle to the penis. The result is the prevention of sperm from exiting the body.
Vasectomy does not affect male hormones. Male hormones continue to circulate within the body normally. There will be no hair loss, voice change, loss of sexual desire or erectile dysfunction as a result of having a vasectomy.

Q?

How Is the Procedure Performed?

A.

The doctor will inject a local anesthetic into the skin of the scrotum, which is the sac holding the testicles. The anesthetic will begin to numb the area, and the numbing effect will last approximately 2 hours. Once completely numb, the doctor will make 1 - 2 small openings in the skin and will gently pull up each tube called the vas deferens. He will then cut and secure the ends. The procedure takes about 30 minutes.

Q?

When Can I Return to Work?

A.

Patients need 1 or 2 days of rest after the vasectomy. Avoid heavy lifting, jogging and sex, and other sustained strenuous activities for at least 1 week. Many men choose to have the procedure performed on a Friday so they can return to work on Monday.

Q?

Is There Much Pain After a Vasectomy?

A.

No. Patients may experience a few days of mild discomfort, such as a pulling or aching feeling in the area, however this discomfort can usually be relieved with Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and jock strap support or tight-fitting underwear. On a scale of 1 to 10, most men rate the pain as a 2 or 3. Some bruising may occur, which is perfectly normal. A very small number of men have more serious side effects, such as excessive bleeding, infection, or painful sperm leakage, called sperm granuloma. You will be advised by the doctor on how to avoid these side effects and what to do should they occur.

Q?

When Can I Have Sex Again?

A.

Patients should wait at least 1 week to provide time for healing to occur, and use another form of birth control until your examination with the doctor indicates sperm are no longer present in semen.

Q?

How Will Vasectomy Affect My Sex Life

A.

If a couple is concerned with unwanted pregnancy, their sex life may improve! The procedure does not change your current enjoyment of sex or ability to perform. Orgasm and ejaculation are not affected…the vasectomy simply eliminates the sperm from your semen.
If the patient is not 100% committed to the effects of a vasectomy, but is having one to please their spouse, resentment may arise and can have a negative emotional effect on the patient’s sexual relationship. If this is your situation, we recommend seeking counseling prior to having the procedure.

Q?

When Is the Vasectomy Effective?

A.

Once the semen has been tested and is found to be free of sperm, your vasectomy is considered a success. A sperm check is completed about 6 weeks after the procedure, or after at least 15 ejaculations. Some physicians request a second check at 12 weeks to ensure the vas deferens have not reconnected.

Q?

What Happens if the Vasectomy Is Not Successful?

A.

In the rare cases where the sperm is able to penetrate the secured ends of the vas deferens, a repeat vasectomy may be required, however this is quite rare and only occurs once out of 1200 procedures.

Q?

Is it Possible to Ejaculate After a Vasectomy?

A.

Yes. The sperm produced by testicles represents only 5% of the semen, which is the fluid produced with ejaculation. The remaining 95% of semen is created by other glands that will continue to function normally. Ejaculation will feel the same…it is impossible to tell the difference in semen with or without sperm. Only if placed under a microscope is the lack of sperm noticeable.

Q?

What Happens to Sperm After a Vasectomy?

A.

The sperm continue to be produced by the testicles but their passage to the penis is blocked. Therefore, the sperm cells break down in the body and are recycled. This process is normal and occurs even in men who have not had a vasectomy, particularly when there is a long time between ejaculations.

Q?

Are there Complications?

A.

Less than 5% of patients experience complications. In a few cases, a small blood vessel may continue to bleed inside the scrotum causing bruising or an accumulation of blood. Infection in the scrotum may also occur. Pain after a vasectomy is minimal. Failure rates are rare, occurring in less than 1% of men who have the procedure, and are discovered during your follow up appointment when your doctor tests for semen in the sperm.
Although rare, some patients have experienced on-going discomfort in the scrotum and groin area following a vasectomy. No firm explanation has been identified as to why this occurs. The discomfort is intermittent, and more of a nuisance, and very rarely is treatment required.
In the past there was some concerns suggesting that having a vasectomy could increase the chances of getting prostate cancer, however after careful review of all the data, the American Cancer Society, the National Institute of Health, as well as other major organizations, have found no increased risk. Similarly, there does not appear to be any increased risk of other diseases.

Q?

Is a Vasectomy Reversible?

A.

Although vasectomies can be reversed, as many as 30% of attempted reversals are unsuccessful, therefore the procedure should always be considered permanent. Patients should not undergo a vasectomy until they are completely sure this is the right decision for them. Those patients who undergo reversal operations are unsuccessful in impregnation as much as 20-30 percent of the time. Some men opt for saving sperm and keeping it frozen prior to having a vasectomy. If this is a consideration for you, the doctor can answer questions about this process.

Q?

What Are Other Options for Contraception?

A.

Many other temporary and reversible options for contraception exist: condoms, spermicides, diaphragms, IUD’s, hormone implants, hormone injections, contraceptive sponges, birth control pills, and patches. Feel free to ask the doctor about these other methods.

Q?

Is Vasectomy Anything Like Castration?

A.

No. Castration is the removal of the testicles. Vasectomy does not touch the testicles, as it is performed in the scrotum, and does not reduce the production of male sex hormones.

Q?

Are There Men Who Should Not Have Vasectomies?

A.

Perhaps. Some men or their partners, who change their minds frequently, should avoid or give careful consideration before having the procedure. Some instances occur whereby men divorce and then remarry someone who wants children, or men who think they might want children later. Medical professionals only consider performing a vasectomy for men who have seriously considered the implications and are firmly determined they want no more children, whether they are single, married, divorced, widowed, and childless or with families, regardless of age.

Q?

Why Is Local Anesthesia Better than General Anesthesia for Vasectomy?

A.

General anesthesia, or being “put to sleep”, poses certain well-established health risks. Because vasectomy is such a simple and quick procedure, it is an unnecessary risk for patients to undergo general anesthesia. The vast majority of vasectomies in the United States are performed using local anesthesia, which consists of simply numbing the injection area.

Q?

Do I Need Consent of My Wife or Partner?

A.

Only the patients’ written consent is required, although it is recommended that the patient discuss this decision with his wife or partner. Your wife or partner are welcome to be present during the counseling portion of your medical exam.

Q?

What Can I Expect After Vasectomy?

A.

Following the procedure, the patient will remain in the office for a short period of time. After arriving home, he should relax for the rest of the day. It is recommended to take at least 2 days off work.

Patients may shower the day after the vasectomy. For adequate support, tight briefs, or an athletic supporter (jock strap) should be worn the following 7 days. You may experience mild or extensive bruising, but this is harmless and the bruise will fade. You may experience an aching feeling, anywhere from 6 hours to 5 days following the procedure. If swelling or pain persists or if the incision appears infected, please contact the physician. For best results, allow the area to heal for 7 days before intercourse or ejaculation.

Q?

What Should I Do to Prepare for the Day of the Vasectomy?

A.

  • Do not take aspirin for at least 10 days prior to the procedure, however, acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, is acceptable.
  • Hair growing on the front of the scrotum should be clipped at home, prior to arriving for the procedure.
  • A shower, particularly washing the genital area thoroughly with soap and water, must be taken prior to the procedure.
  • Three or four 200mg Ibuprofen should be taken 2 hours prior to the procedure, in addition to other medications that may be prescribed by the doctor.
  • Bring an athletic supporter, or snug-fitting underwear, with you to your appointment. These undergarments should be worm immediately following the procedure.