A male vasectomy is a permanent type of contraception for men that involves severing the vas deferens tubes so that sperm can no longer be transported from the testes.
A successful procedure should not interfere with the patient’s enjoyment of sex with a partner. However, there are a number of things men or couples should consider before proceeding. Here are a few of them.
Reasons for the vasectomy and whether it’s the right solution
If you want a vasectomy, you need to be very sure that you don’t want to father children in the future, as a successful reversal cannot be guaranteed. If there is any doubt in your mind, you might want to investigate whether another less permanent solution for contraception might be more suitable at this stage.
Time required for success
Some sperm is usually still present in the tubes after the procedure and this may be the case for up to three months. This means that other types of contraception should be used until tests show the all-clear.
Risk of failure and complications
Risks include bruising or infection at the site and a pregnancy rate following a vasectomy of around 0.1% to 0.2%. While the risks involved in vasectomies are very low, they should still be taken into consideration.
How it is performed
A conventional male vasectomy involves shaving a small area of the scrotum, administering a local anaesthetic and making incisions in the scrotum, followed by locating and cutting the tubes and closing with stitches.
A more modern procedure is that of a no-scalpel vasectomy, which is safer and less invasive. It involves more effective anaesthesia and making tiny incisions with pointed forceps in the scrotum which require no stitching afterwards. This method takes only a few minutes and has a much lower complication rate than for a conventional vasectomy.
Where to have it done
Vasectomies can be done at a public hospital but there is usually a waiting list involved. They can also be performed privately at a urology clinic and usually only require a day stay. However, if you opt for a no-scalpel vasectomy it can be done within minutes.
How to prepare for a vasectomy
There is no requirement to fast prior to having the procedure, and most men should be able to drive themselves home afterwards.
If you would like to find out more about a male vasectomy, consult with a qualified urologist to discuss the procedure and whether it is right for your circumstances.