Vasectomy Advantages and Disadvantages
If you are considering a vasectomy, you should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this form of birth control. The primary feature of a vasectomy is its permanence. It was designed to prevent further conception for life. For some men, this is an advantage. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to tubal ligation in a woman and it is usually100% effective. However, this permanence can be a disadvantage to men who experience a change of heart about conception of a biologic child.
Life after Vasectomy
It’s important to realize that life changes occur unexpectedly. In the event of a divorce or death of a partner, some men enter new relationships and may regret loss of the ability to conceive a biologic child. It is true that some vasectomies can be reversed, but it is far from guaranteed, so if you think there may someday be an occasion that prompts you to reconsider fathering a biologic child, you should not undergo the procedure. Vasectomy reversal is a difficult procedure. Sometimes, sperm can be retrieved from the testicles of men who have had a vasectomy, allowing in vitro fertilization. However, this is a difficult and expensive path to conception.
Another disadvantage of vasectomy is that you will not be protected against any sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, or HIV. Condoms are the most reliable and effective method of prevention of a sexually transmitted infection, and you should always practice “safe sex,” even if you are not concerned about pregnancy.
There have been some studies that suggest vasectomy may increase the risk of prostate cancer, but the evidence is not convincing. However, you should consider that there may be some small increased risk. Some problems may occur after vasectomy, such as bruising or buildup of swelling in the testicles. This usually clears up rapidly, but in some men, sperm may leak from the vas deferens and cause a granuloma, which is a small lump of skin that forms near the surgery site. In some cases, it may have to be treated with surgical excision. Approximately 2/100 men will develop chronic and severe pain after a vasectomy. This can be relieved by taking medications that stop inflammation or, in severe cases, with a nerve block to deaden the region of the spermatic cord. Although there is no physical reason for men to develop erectile dysfunction or decreased sexual desire after vasectomy, it does occur in approximately 4 of every 1,000 men who have the procedure. It is most likely the result of emotional causes.
Vasectomy has several advantages. Primarily, it is permanent for those men who do not want to have biological children, allowing them a convenient and simple method of birth control. It can be especially helpful if you have a condition like a hereditary illness that you do not want to pass on to future generations. It is reliable for couples where the woman’s health would be affected by a future pregnancy and in cases where the couple has concerns about side effects from other methods of contraception. It is about 1/6 the cost of tubal ligation, which is a much more complicated procedure for sterilization of the woman. It will not affect your male hormones. Your should be able to enjoy sexuality without any side effects as a result of your vasectomy.