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Monday, Dec. 2, 2019

What is a Vasectomy?

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Q&A: Quick procedure, fast recovery, all systems go!

A vasectomy is a minor outpatient procedure where the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm from the testicle) is permanently divided on each side.

It is intended to be permanent, but our office does perform vasectomy reversals. There is no guarantee that your vasectomy will be reversed, so please keep this in mind before scheduling your vasectomy.

Each year approximately 500,000 men choose to pursue a vasectomy.

What does a vasectomy entail?

It is typically a minor procedure that takes 10-15 minutes to perform. One or two small incisions are made in the scrotum. The vas deferens is then isolated, permanently divided and lowered back into the scrotum through the small incision.

Medications are typically given to you before the procedure or during it to help you relax. You will be awake, but should be very comfortable. A numbing medication is injected into the scrotal area around the vas deferens before any incision. You may feel slight pressure, but you should not feel an uncomfortable amount of pain. A small absorbable stitch is typically then placed to close the skin incision.

After the vasectomy, it is very important to alternate ice packs to the scrotal area for 24-48 hours and take it easy. We request that you do not perform any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least 48 hours.

How long will I need to take off work?

You can typically return to work within 48 hours as long as you are not required to do strenuous activity or heavy lifting.

When is it OK to have unprotected sex after a vasectomy?

We ask that men not have unprotected sex until they have two negative semen specimens. We will go over the collection instructions with you after your vasectomy in detail. Most men have completely cleared by 10 weeks after a vasectomy.

You need to clear all the sperm downstream from the vasectomy site.

If you have unprotected sex before verifying that your ejaculate does not contain sperm, it is possible to get your wife or partner pregnant. This is very important to understand.

Will everything work the same after a vasectomy?

Yes. Once you have healed, you should not be able to tell that you have had a vasectomy. You will still orgasm and ejaculate, but the ejaculate will not contain sperm.

A vasectomy will also not affect your testosterone production, sex drive or prostate health.

Does my insurance typically cover a vasectomy?

Most insurance companies do cover vasectomy. We can help you verify insurance coverage and cost prior to proceeding with a vasectomy. It is generally very affordable, but cost can vary for patients depending on plan specifics and deductible.

What is the risk of a vasectomy?

Generally speaking, a vasectomy is a very low-risk procedure. There is a very small risk of a blood collection in the scrotum (hematoma), infection, chronic pain and failure. The risk of the two ends growing back together is approximately 1 in 2,000. Prolonged lasting pain in the testicles is extremely rare.

Can I just schedule a vasectomy procedure, or do I need an appointment first?

We ask all men to schedule an appointment with a urologist before pursuing a vasectomy.

They will have a detailed discussion with you and then examine your scrotal anatomy. We want to be sure you understand everything prior to proceeding since it is intended to be permanent.

Article courtesy of the professionals at Regional Urology.

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