Whether you’re considering a vasectomy as a form of male birth control or already have one booked, you may wonder what happens when you get a vasectomy.
This article will discuss what a vasectomy is, the advantages and disadvantages of a vasectomy, as well as some frequently asked questions about what happens when you get a vasectomy.
What Is a Vasectomy?
A form of male birth control, a vasectomy is a surgical procedure that cuts the supply of sperm to a man’s semen. This is done by cutting and sealing the tubes in the testes that carry sperm. A vasectomy can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia.
While a vasectomy reversal is possible, you should be sure that you don’t wish to father a child in the future, as a vasectomy is considered a permanent form of male birth control.
What Are the Benefits of a Vasectomy?
Considered incredibly safe and effective, there are several benefits of a vasectomy, including:
- A vasectomy is one of the most successful forms of birth control and is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy
- It is a simple outpatient surgery with a low risk of side effects or complications
- The procedure typically takes 10-30 minutes
- A vasectomy costs far less than tubal ligation (female sterilization) or the long-term cost of birth control medication for women
- You don’t need to take any further birth control steps before sexual intercourse (such as putting on a condom)
What Are the Disadvantages of a Vasectomy?
Although a vasectomy is a very effective form of male birth control, it won’t protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted infections or diseases.
Vasectomies are a permanent form of male birth control. So, a reversal surgery is more complicated and expensive than the initial vasectomy. Therefore, you should be certain that you do not wish to father a child in the future.
It’s also important to note that a vasectomy isn’t immediately effective; you will still require other forms of birth control until the semen is clear of sperm. This takes around 15-20 ejaculations or about three months.
What to Expect When Getting a Vasectomy
What Happens Before the Procedure?
Before the procedure, your doctor or primary care physician will meet with you to discuss what happens when you get a vasectomy and if it’s the most suitable form of birth control for your needs.
Although some GPs and family medicine doctors will perform a vasectomy, generally, urologists who specialize in the male reproductive system perform vasectomies.
What Happens Before the Procedure?
Usually, you’ll be an outpatient and under local anesthesia, which means you’ll be awake, but the surgical area will be numbed. A vasectomy typically takes around 10-30 minutes.
What Happens After the Surgery?
After the procedure, you may experience some area pain, bruising, and swelling. However, this usually improves within a few days.
Your doctor may advise you to:
- Watch out for signs of infection, such as a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, redness, increasing pain or swelling, or blood coming from the surgery site
- Support your scrotum with tightfitting underwear and bandages for at least 48 hours
- Apply ice to your scrotum for the first two days to help with swelling
- Rest after your surgery for at least 24 hours. Wait at least a week before returning to sports, heavy lifting, or physical activity
- Avoid sexual activity for at least a week. You’ll also need to use additional birth control until your doctor has confirmed that sperm are no longer present in your semen
What Happens When You Get a Vasectomy: Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Possible Side Effects of a Vasectomy?
Immediately after your vasectomy surgery, side effects can include:
- Swelling or bruising of the scrotum
- Mild pain or discomfort in the surgery area
- Blood in your semen when you ejaculate
- Infection of the surgery site
- Bleeding inside the scrotum
How Much Does a Vasectomy Cost?
The cost of a vasectomy varies depending on where you get the procedure done and whether you have health insurance covering some or all the costs. With some health insurance plans, Medicaid, and other government programs, a vasectomy can be free.
Is a Vasectomy Painful?
Since your practitioner will use local anesthetic, the surgery shouldn’t be painful. However, you may feel a slight pinch as your practitioner injects the anesthetic. Some men have reported a pulling sensation when the vas deferens tubes are being handled. However, any discomfort should only last a short while.
As mentioned above, once the anesthesia has worn off, you may experience scrotum pain, swelling, and bruising for a few days.
Can You Still Ejaculate After a Vasectomy?
Yes, you will still ejaculate semen. However, it will no longer contain sperm (after you’ve ejaculated around 15-20 times). Instead, your body will absorb the sperm.
If you’re thinking about a vasectomy or weighing up your male birth control options, consider speaking with a specialized men’s health doctor.
At Opt Health, we have specialized men’s health doctors who can provide treatment and test results from the comfort of your home. We’re here to help you feel like you again and increase men’s vitality. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to book an appointment.