For years, women have carried the burden of contraception. The most common form of contraception is the birth control pill. However, long-term use of the pill can have a negative impact on women’s bodies. This, along with the burden of responsibility for taking it, seems very unfair. A vasectomy allows men to make a contribution and lifts the burden of contraception from females. A vasectomy can be seen as a gift to a relationship if both parties agree they are done having kids or don't want kids. However, the last thing a vasectomy should be is a secret.
Are You Done Having Kids? Deciding on Vasectomy
Male contraception options
There are two definitive choices of male contraception – abstinence or a vasectomy. Most men wouldn’t have the discipline to take a male contraceptive pill if there was one. Condoms can fail and not all men like using them. Many women prefer sex without a condom too. The early withdrawal method is something of a lottery as well. The good news is, getting a vasectomy is an effective safeguard against unwanted pregnancy and a lot more cheerful than abstention.
Vasectomy: How it works
A vasectomy is a procedure to prevent the transport of mature sperm to the Vas Deferens, a long muscular tube. This muscular tube runs from the epididymis to the pelvic cavity, situated behind the bladder, into the urethra in readiness for ejaculation. Upon completion of a vasectomy, ejaculate will no longer contain sperm. This then results in male sterilization.
A vasectomy is a simple procedure and only takes about 20 minutes.
Typically, a urologist will perform a vasectomy with the patient under a general anesthetic or a local anesthetic. During a traditional vasectomy, the doctor will shave and clean the scrotum and then inject a numbing anesthetic. They will then make a surgical cut on both sides of the upper part of the scrotum. Then, the doctor will cut apart, and clip or tie off the vas deferens. After, the doctor will use stitches or surgical glue to close the wound.
Alternatively, there is a no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV). During this procedure, the doctor will feel the scrotum to find the vas deferens. They will then inject a numbing medication. The vas deferens will then be cut and tied off through a small hole.
Full recovery takes between seven to ten days. During this time, patients should restrict movement and apple ice packs for the first couple of days. While patients can return to work after two to three days, we do not recommend resuming exercise or sexual activity until seven days post-surgery. After two weeks, all bruising and swelling should be gone.
Good idea: Done Having Kids
A vasectomy is a good option if you and your partner you are done having kids and don’t want more children in the future. Some urologists will refuse to perform the procedure on men who haven’t had children, even though the procedure is reversible. A vasectomy helps prevent pregnancy for a partner whose health might be at risk if they were to become pregnant again or for the first time. A vasectomy is also a solution for couples or partners who carry genetic disorders who fear that their children will be genetically compromised. Although it is a very difficult moral choice to make, a vasectomy can afford couples protection in their sex life.
Bad idea: Not Sure if You Want More Children
A vasectomy is not regarded as a temporary form of birth control even though it is reversible. The more our bodies undergo medical procedures, the more that can go wrong. To have a vasectomy is not a decision to be taken lightly. A vasectomy can consciously or subconsciously affect men psychologically. For some men, it makes them feel less manly. Virility can be a proud measure of a man's masculinity. Therefore, men should address these potential psychological issues before deciding a vasectomy is right for them.
Vasectomies are highly effective with only a less than 1% chance of impregnation. This makes it more effective than the pill as well as condoms.
The surgery is low risk with minimal chance of infection or complications or bleeding. However, some men will experience pain. This is usually a result of the build-up of sperm upstream of the vasectomy, but for most, it is little more than acute discomfort.
A vasectomy should not have any impact on normal sexual function after the recovery period. Consult a urologist if you experience persistent pain. The penis is not part of the procedure so remains untouched and there is no change to the hormones in the body. All that will probably happen is a reduction in the quantity of fluid in ejaculations. Most importantly, it will not have an impact on sex drive.
Sterilization is not instant post-vasectomy. This will only happen after approximately 20 ejaculations or two months. A sperm test will be done at the post-op consultation. Therefore, we recommend using other contraceptives until the test results come in.
Additional Information: Vasectomy Reversal
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