Many men choose a vasectomy as a safe and permanent form of contraception. This summary will help explain the vasectomy procedure.
Sperm is made in the two testicles located in the scrotum.
From there, the sperm travels to the prostate through two specialized tubes called vas deferens. The sperm is then mixed with special secretions from the prostate and the two seminal vesicles located near the outlet of the bladder.
Semen is formed when sperm from the testicles combines with the secretions from the prostate and the two seminal vesicles. Semen is stored in the seminal vesicles, located near the outlet of the bladder.
The sperm helps with reproduction by and conceiving a child when it fertilizes a woman’s egg.
During ejaculation, the semen is forced out of the body through the urethra inside the penis. Sperm forms a small component of the ejaculated semen.
The purpose of the vasectomy procedure is to prevent the sperm from joining the semen before the semen is ejaculated. This is done by cutting the vas deferens, thereby preventing sperm from traveling from the testicles to the seminal vesicles.
After the procedure, sperm is still made in the testicles. However, it dies there and is reabsorbed by the body. Sperm that was already stored in the seminal vesicles can still be ejaculated with the semen. Until all of the stored semen is ejaculated, conception is still possible. This is why it is important to use other methods of contraception until sperm counts done after the operation show the complete absence of sperm.
Even though recent technological advances have made possible the reversal of this operation, a vasectomy should be considered PERMANENT. It should only be done after VERY careful consideration.
The sperm is a small component of semen. Therefore, you will notice no difference in the amount or the texture of your semen after the operation.
This operation is a form of contraception. It does NOT prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS or Herpes.
The vasectomy will take about 10-20 minutes to perform. A local anesthetic is injected into the scrotal skin adjacent to the vas deferens. This affords almost immediate anesthesia. A small incision is made in the scrotum, the vas deferens is exposed, and a small portion is removed. The severed ends are then either clipped, tied with suture or cauterized. The skin incisions are usually closed with one suture, which dissolves in seven to ten days. The patient can take a shower the following morning. The patient is advised to be very sedentary for 48 hours after the procedure to reduce the incidence of complications. Ice packs can be applied to the scrotum periodically for the first 24 to 36 hours to ease swelling. After 48 hours, the patient may begin physical activity, including intercourse, as comfort allows.
St Pete Urology believes there is no advantage to a “no scalpel” technique. With the “no scalpel” technique, a small incision is made with a different instrument, but the effect is the same.
Risks and Complications
This surgery is safe. There are, however, several potential risks and complications. These are unlikely but possible. You need to know about them in case they occur.
By being informed, you may be able to help your doctor detect complications early.
Some patients may be allergic to the local anesthesia or intravenous medication. Therefore, it is very important to inform your doctor about all allergies.
Some of the risks are those seen in any type of surgery. They include:
- Infection (involving the testicles or scrotum).
Treating infections may require long-term antibiotics and possibly surgery.
- Bleeding (either during or after the operation). It is normal to have some discoloration or swelling of the scrotum after this procedure. However, if these symptoms continue to progress and cause severe pain, you should let your doctor know. Additional surgery may be needed.
- Scars (usually barely noticeable after this surgery).
Other risks and complications are related specifically to these procedures. They are not likely, but it is important to know about them.
One complication is inflammation in the testicles, also known as congestion, which could be painful. It takes a few weeks for this to appear, and it is usually temporary. However, very rarely, the pain may be permanent.
You may be able to feel with your hand a small nodule at the site of the vasectomy. This is known as “sperm granuloma.” If the granuloma gets bigger and is painful, another operation may be needed to take it out.
The two cut edges of the vas deferens can re-grow and reconnect. This may permit sperm to flow back through the vas. After the operation, sperm counts are done to make sure the count drops to zero. It may take a few weeks for that to happen. In very rare cases this may not happen and a repeat vasectomy may have to be done.
A side effect of the operation is that by destroying the excess sperm in the testicles, the body starts producing antibodies against the sperm. Antibodies are special chemical elements made by the body to defend itself against foreign organisms. These antibodies can cling to the sperm and make them useless.
At a later date you may decide to have the tubes reconnected. Nevertheless, even if sperm appears in the semen, it may not be effective in conceiving, which is why this operation should be considered PERMANENT.
Although some researchers have linked vasectomy and prostate cancer, scientists appointed by the National Institutes of Health have found NO significant relationship between vasectomy and prostate cancer.
After the Surgery
Some oozing from the incision is to be expected for a day or so after the operation. Sterile gauze put in your briefs will help absorb and stop it. If the skin separates because of the oozing, the edges can be pinched together using the sterile gauze to improve healing.
Sex can usually be resumed in a few days, after the swelling, bruising, and pain have subsided.
Lifting heavy objects is not permitted until the wound has fully healed and the swelling has completely subsided.
Sometimes it is possible to reverse the operation, but there are no guarantees. Vasectomy Reversal is more expensive than the vasectomy and often not covered by your insurance company. It is a very intricate micro-surgical procedure that is also performed by St Pete Urology. For more information, visit our Vasectomy Reversal section.
How Can I Get a Vasectomy?
Contact our office (727) 822-9208 for an appointment. If you have a PPO, you can visit our office directly. Because insurance coverage varies with each policy, we encourage you to call the number listed on your insurance card to verify the process needed to obtain approval for coverage prior to the vasectomy.
Vasectomy is a very safe and effective form of contraception.
It is important to remember that this operation should be considered permanent and that it does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
Some risks and complications may occur. Knowing about them will help you detect them early if they occur.