Vasectomy: Is It Right For You?
There are several factors you should consider carefully before you have a vasectomy procedure. Although vasectomy procedures can be reversed with microsurgical techniques with some success, vasectomy is considered a permanent method of birth control. If you are certain you don’t want to have children, then it is the most reliable form of contraception. During the procedure, a urologic surgeon closes the tube that carries sperm produced in the testicles, preventing sperm from ejaculation when you are having sexual intercourse in order to prevent pregnancy. Although it is a very personal decision, you may want to discuss the pros and cons of this form of birth control with your partner, if you are in a committed relationship.
When to Consider Vasectomy?
If you want to biologic children in the future, then you should not consider a vasectomy. When you are considering the procedure, be realistic about the possibility for unforeseen changes in your life, including divorce or death of a partner. Some men consider depositing sperm in a sperm bank, just in case. This is not ideal, since some men’s sperm will not survive freezing. If you are thinking about this possibility, you may want to reconsider.
If you are planning to undergo vasectomy because of pressure from your partner, then you should not undergo the procedure until your resolve your feelings about this permanent birth control method. Sometimes, men may decide to have a vasectomy to solve a financial problem or sexual problem that is, in reality, a temporary problem. If you are considering a vasectomy because of current relationship or financial difficulty, then you should be certain that you want a long-term solution. There are many other methods of birth control that do not carry the long-term consequences of sterilization, including condoms, withdrawal, abstinence, or female methods of birth control. IUD devices and contraceptive implants are options for the female partner in a relationship that are as effective as a vasectomy and just as easy to use, yet not permanent.
How Safe is Vasectomy?
Vasectomy is the most effective male form of birth control, but it is not immediately effective. You will have to use other methods to prevent pregnancy until you have no sperm in your semen. This usually takes about 3 months, but the doctor must confirm this with a semen analysis. Fewer than one in a thousand vasectomies fail, if they are performed correctly. However, doctors who perform less than 50 vasectomies each year have failure rates as high as 10-17%. In rare cases, the two ends of the vas deferens may grow back together, causing pregnancy.
Complications from a vasectomy are rare. The procedure is safe, but there are always risks of infection and bleeding when undergoing any surgical procedure. Major complications are very unusual and typically result from infection. The no-scalpel method of vasectomy has fewer complications than vasectomy performed through an incision in the groin.
Finally, the cost of vasectomy can be as high as $1,000. You should also check into any age requirements for permanent sterilization, such as age restrictions. Vasectomy is a major life decision. Reversals do not always successfully return men to fertility after vasectomy. When making this decision, be certain it is the right choice for you.