The Truth About Vasectomies - 2nd Part

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Saturday 16th October 2010
In this article
  • What exactly is a vasectomy?
  • Dispelling the myths.
  • Facts to consider.

I’ll admit, I couldn’t tell you the name of three birth control products on the grocery store shelf. Whether out of embarrassment or male pride, I just don’t give it much thought. But the fact is, as guys we are held responsible for consequences of birth control failure, so it’s surprising that most guys place the responsibility of birth control solely upon our SharpWomen. Especially since this policy consistently produces mixed results.

There is one alternative that we rarely discuss — just the mention of the name conjures up fear and pain to the mind of almost any male. And yet, each year, about 500,000 men choose to have vasectomies. Why? A vasectomy is a minor procedure that can usually be performed in a doctor’s office on an outpatient basis. It also provides a nearly 100% effective means of birth control. Read on for more information:

The Procedure

Vasectomy involves blocking the tubes through which sperm passes into the semen. Sperm are stored in the epididymis, a narrow tube connected to the rear of each testicle. During sex, the sperm move from the epididymis through another pair of tubes called the vas deferens and mix with other components of semen to form the ejaculate. All vasectomy techniques involve "blocking" both the left and right vas tubes so that a man’s ejaculate will no longer contain sperm.

There are two main types of vasectomy techniques: conventional or traditional and the No Scalpel (NSV):

In a traditional or conventional vasectomy, your physician numbs the scrotum with a local anesthetic before making two small incisions. The tube (vas) is cut and a piece of the tube is removed. The cut ends are tied and cauterized together so scar tissue can block the tubes. This procedure is usually completed in 30 minutes.

With the NSV technique, your physician uses an instrument to make a small puncture in the scrotum and then cuts and ties the tubes. With NSV, there is little bleeding, no stitches, less discomfort, and a faster recovery time. This procedure takes only a few minutes.

After the procedure, rest is recommended for a couple of days. As with most surgery, some swelling and discomfort may occur, but this is often very minimal. Men can resume sexual intercourse as soon as they feel comfortable. Daily activities can be resumed in a couple of days.

Minding the Myths

Some of the basic myths about vasectomy revolve around its pain, expense and sexual side effects. Here’s the real scoop:

Q: Aren’t vasectomies for old men?
A: The average age for electing to have this procedure is 35.

Q: Will having a vasectomy increase my chance of developing prostate cancer?
A: Current research shows there is no evidence that a vasectomy increases the risk of prostate cancer.

Q: Will having a vasectomy make me appear more feminine?
A: A vasectomy does not affect physical characteristics such as voice, hair or breast development.

Q: Do vasectomies help prevent sexual transmitted diseases?
A: No. A vasectomy will not prevent a man from contracting STDs, including HIV. Men who have had vasectomies are still encouraged to use condoms and practice safer sex.

Q: Will vasectomy adversely affect my sex drive?
A: A vasectomy will not reduce sexual desire or the ability to have or enjoy sex. A vasectomy only helps to prevent pregnancy.

Q: How does a vasectomy compare with having my partner’s tubes tied?

Vasectomy Tubal Ligation
$400- $1,200 $2,500-$5,000
Highly effective as birth control Effective as birth control
Local anesthesia used General anesthesia used
Out-patient status Must be admitted to the hospital
Less risks/complications More risks/complications
Recovery time faster/shorter Recovery time slower/longer

Other Facts to Consider

Birth control. Although vasectomy is an immediate preventive for pregnancy, some sperm may remain in the vas tubes. For this reason, couples should continue to use other means of birth control for a period of one to three months following the procedure, or until a sperm count test indicates otherwise.

Reversibility? Generally, SharpMen who are considering vasectomies do so because they already have children or have decided that they prefer not to have them. In come cases, vasectomies performed today can be reversed. Despite this, the procedure should be considered a permanent surgery — cause you just never know.

This article last updated on Saturday 16th October 2010
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