The Male Birth Control: Vasectomy

We all know that condoms are only 98% safe during sexual intercourse. There can be a chance that you might impregnate your partner even after using a condom during sex. And if you are not planning to have a family, that can be traumatic, especially if you go through the process of abortion. This is when the procedure of vasectomy comes into the picture. 

Intimacy is a part of any romantic relationship, whether you are married or not. Sex makes a relationship stronger as well as stable and often eliminates certain issues in your relationship. It is said that the more sex a couple has, better their relationship is. And of course, if you want to stall having kids, or be sure that you get any STIs or STDs, using condoms is considered the best method of protection. 

However, condoms do not give a 100% guarantee of safe sex. As they are only 98% safe (as Ross was told, “Condoms only work like 97% of the time”), there are chances that you might impregnate your partner and it may lead to the process of abortion. 

The best option for you, in this case, is getting a vasectomy, which will not hamper your sex life and you won’t have to worry about impregnating your partner as well. Globally, *around 33 million married women from the age of 15 to 49 (less than 3%) rely on their partner’s vasectomy for contraception.

If you have no idea about the procedure of vasectomy and are having doubts about it, let us explain:

What is a Vasectomy?

A vasectomy, also called male sterilisation or even male birth control, is a minor surgery that helps in preventing pregnancy. It blocks your sperm from getting into your semen when you ejaculate or get an orgasm after the sexual activity. Once there is no sperm in your semen, you simply cannot impregnate your partner. It is nearly 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. 

If you opt for a vasectomy, it will generally take about 30 minutes to get the procedure done and you can get discharged from the hospital on the same day. Theoretically, a vasectomy is reversible, however, it does not always work. So you should go for it only if you are sure that you do not want to have kids. 

Effectiveness of a Vasectomy

Although a vasectomy is one of the best methods of preventing pregnancy, there can be a small chance that you still might impregnate your partner. Another factor that has to be kept in mind is that it is not immediately effective. 

The existing sperm in your body needs to be cleared out and that can take up to three months. Keep following up with your urologist to check on your sperm count as the time goes on. Do not assume that the procedure of vasectomy has been effective until your doctor says so. 

Also, please keep in mind that a vasectomy does not protect you from STIs and STDs. Hence, if you have multiple sexual partners, it is advisable that you still use a condom.

Risks of a Vasectomy

While vasectomy is a permanent procedure, a reversal might be possible but is not always an option. At times it can also be more complicated than the vasectomy.

Potential short term symptoms of a vasectomy include swelling, bruising and some discomfort. These symptoms go away on their own after about two weeks.

However, if you are dealing with an Infection or Hematoma, you need to see your Urologist at the earliest. An infection can cause fever, redness or pain on the scrotum. While Hematoma can cause bleeding under the skin, which will look like a dark bruise and can also lead to swelling.

Other Risks

  • Granuloma. This is a lump in the scrotum caused by sperm that leaks out of the Vas Deferens tube into tissue.
  • Post Vasectomy pain syndrome. This is a chronic issue, which a small minority of individuals deal with after a vasectomy. This chronic pain condition may be caused by consequences of the surgery like nerve compression. Treatment for post vasectomy pain syndrome includes pain reduction, medication, and surgery.
  • Procedure failure. This can occasionally happen. If 1,000 vasectomies are performed, it’s estimated that 11 will likely fail over two years.
  • Regret over procedure. This can occur more commonly in individuals who get a vasectomy before the age of 30.

What to Expect?

Although a vasectomy is a minor surgery to prevent pregnancy, it is still an operation, and you will be feeling some pain and discomfort. While over the counter medications should work, it is important that you talk about this procedure with your Urologist. Some of the things you need to know are:

  • Most individuals can return to desk work, one day after the surgery.
  • Swelling and pain may occur for a few days after surgery. Holding an ice pack on the scrotum, and wearing supportive underwear like a jockstrap may help ease these symptoms.
  • It’s advised to avoid sexual intercourse, as well as strenuous activity, for three to seven days after the procedure.
  • A semen analysis is typically done 8 to 16 weeks following a vasectomy.

Conclusion

If you already have kids and do not plan to have more, then the procedure of vasectomy is good for you. However, if you are someone who is not very sure of it, then we recommend that you go through all the pros and cons and consult your Urologist before taking the steps ahead.

Footnote

33 million married women: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19643232/#:~:text=Worldwide%2C%20an%20estimated%2033%20million,their%20partner%27s%20vasectomy%20for%20contraception

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