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.
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"