Nearly half a million American men get vasectomies every year. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to be informed before deciding whether a vasectomy is right for you. Read on to discover what you need to know before your vasectomy.
1) A vasectomy is considered a permanent sterilization procedure.
It’s true that a vasectomy can often be reversed, but it’s important to note that vasectomies are still considered permanent sterilization procedures. Reversal procedures are complicated, time consuming, and not always successful, so men shouldn’t take the decision to have a vasectomy lightly. For this reason, it’s recommended that men only have vasectomies if they have completed their families or feel confident they don’t want children, and if they are in a strong, committed relationship with a partner who feels the same way. Some men decide to bank sperm prior to a vasectomy, just in case their situation changes.
2) Recovery is usually quick and side effects are rare.
Most men recover quickly from vasectomies, especially the modern no-needle, no-scalpel variety. The majority of patients can return to work the day after this procedure, or shortly thereafter. There may be some tenderness or swelling, but this is usually minimal and easily treated with ice.
Vasectomies carry very few short-term and long-term side effects.
Vasectomies do not alter testosterone level, so men will not see a dip in their libidos. In fact, without the need for birth control or fear of pregnancy, many couples notice their sex life improves after a vasectomy.
3) You won’t be sterile straight away.
While no new sperm will enter the vas deferens (the tube carrying the sperm, which is cut during a vasectomy) after a vasectomy, there will still be some sperm in them. This sperm must be cleared out through ejaculation (either through masturbation or sex with a partner), for sterility. Experts suggest patients must ejaculate between 20 and 30 times to clear out existing sperm reserves. Because of this, you should use birth control until a urologist verifies there is no sperm in your semen.