Vasectomy is the most effective form of permanent birth control available. It is more than 99% successful (roughly 99.85%), and is associated with minimal risk and a quick recovery. It is safer and less expensive than other permanent birth control procedures. The procedure is performed in-office in less than 30 minutes (generally 10 – 15 minutes) and men can almost always return to work within one to two days.
What to Expect
The vas deferens is the tube through which the sperm travels from the testicle, where it is made, to the urethra where it joins with the fluid portion of the ejaculate. Most men have two testicles and therefore a vasectomy is performed on each side. During the vasectomy, your doctor will make one or two small openings in the upper scrotum after applying local anesthesia. Each vas will be identified, a small section removed, and the ends sealed. The skin is then closed, possibly with several small stitches which will dissolve and do not have to be removed. After a vasectomy, there is no change in hormone levels, sexual desire or function, and there is no noticeable change in the amount or appearance of the ejaculate.
Vasectomy is considered to be permanent sterilization though it is actually quite successfully reversed. The reversal procedure is usually not covered by insurance (unlike vasectomy which almost always is covered), and is more involved, requiring a general anesthetic. If you have a vasectomy you should be quite sure that you do not want children in the future.
Vasectomy Prep Instructions
One week before the procedure you will want to make a list of medications you are currently taking, including blood thinners. Additionally, stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. You will want to purchase a pair of snug cotton briefs or any other type of athletic supporter to bring on procedure day. This will help make you feel more comfortable while recovering.
On the day of your procedure, be sure to shower and thoroughly clean your genital area. Your doctor may also ask you to trim or shave this area. It is not required but you may want to arrange for a ride home after your procedure. This will help avoid movement and pressure on your incision. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled procedure time for check-in.
Looking for more information on Vasectomy? Check out this article written by one of our Urology Doctors on "What to expect when…your husband gets his vasectomy"
Ready to schedule a Vasectomy? Call The Iowa Clinic Urology department at 515.875.9800 or schedule online.