Top Facts About Vasectomy Surgery
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure that is employed for permanent male contraception or sterilization. Although female contraception procedures are more common, nevertheless vasectomy is also popular in America as it is minimally invasive with a relatively short recovery period.
The main goal of vasectomy is to prevent the release of sperms into the semen or ejaculate during the process of intercourse. The procedure is carried out by obstructing or severing the tube that transports the sperm from testicles to penis, from where it is ejaculated out of the body. This tube is known as vas deferens. This way, the sperm production is not affected but it remains within the body, unable to escape out.
Vasectomy significantly helps in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies; but it does not produce any adverse effects on the erection, quantity or quality of sperm and ejaculation ability. One thing to remember is vasectomy is a permanent procedure. Reversing a vasectomy is not easy and is also very expensive. In addition, vasectomy reversal does not guarantee desired results. Therefore prior to opting for vasectomy, careful thinking and thorough consideration is highly recommended. Another thing to remember is that, the procedure is fairly effective at preventing pregnancies, but there’s no evidence that it also provides any protection against STIs (Sexually transmitted infections). The best way to prevent STIs is to practice safe sex along with using condoms in all chance encounters.
Complications And Risk Factors If Vasectomy
Given below are the risk factors associated with vasectomy:
- Hematoma (it results from the pooling of blood under the surgical site of skin.)
- Epididymitis (painful and inflamed testicles) – this can be taken care of by warm compresses or surgery in severe cases
- Sexual complications – very few people experience sexual complications (such as decline in sexual functioning) after undergoing vasectomy
- Spermatic granuloma – it is characterized as the formation of abscess at the surgical site. Leaking of sperm from vasdeferens may be one contributing factor
- Repeated surgery – if there’s no evident decline in the count of sperm followed by the surgery, then it may be a red flag and should be managed by repeat surgery to permanently disable fertility
- Pain – the pain is usually mild to moderate in severity and can be taken care of with the help of OTC pain killers
The Procedure Of Vasectomy
The first step of the procedure is administration of a local anesthetic agent in order to make the genitals numb. The target area is then shaved and an anti-bacterial solution is applied on the skin to minimize the risk of infection. After the solution is dried, the surgery begins. The surgery involves cutting and tying of vas deferens. The incision made to perform the procedure is then stitched back with sutures.
The procedure is not very painful and after it’s done, the patient may experience soreness and bruising. However, the doctor may prescribe a pain reliever to alleviate these symptoms. Use of snug underwear in the initial days followed by surgery can assist in minimizing the pain and help in limiting the scrotum movement. Cold compresses can also help in relieving the swelling and pain. Applying ice directly to the affected area is never a good idea instead wrapping the ice in a clean towel and then application, can reduce the risk of skin burning. Elevation of scrotum can also minimize soreness and swelling.
2 months after the procedure, the doctor may assess the sperm count to check the effectiveness of the procedure. The doctor may hand a sterilized container to the patient to collect the semen sample in privacy. When collecting the sample, it is necessary to make sure that the semen and spermicide do not come in contact with each other.
- Tan, W. P., & Levine, L. A. (2016). An overview of the management of post-vasectomy pain syndrome. Asian journal of andrology, 18(3), 332.
- Penson, D. F. (2017). Re: Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality in a Large US Cohort. The Journal of Urology, 198(1), 104-106.