For many men they have the conversation with their partner on and off for several years before they finally give in and get a vasectomy, often because they have fears over how painful the procedure might be, how it might effect their sexual performance or how it might dull their libido, or may not even work. But are these fears correct, is a vasectomy really that bad, or are these fears unfounded?
Vasectomy is still the most reliable form of male contraception and around half a million men in the United States opt for this procedure every year.
How a Vasectomy is Carried Out
By understanding what happens during a vasectomy surgery, your fears about pain and recovery will hopefully be abated. First of all its good to know that most vasectomies now carried out by private clinics are done using a non-scalpel technique, which results in less pain and much shorter recovery time.
The procedure is done under local anesthetic to numb the area and can be completed in an hour or even shorter by an experienced surgeon, urologist or male reproductive health doctor. The procedure is carried out by the use of a small surgical dissecting clamp which opens a very small hole in the scrotum. The opening allows the surgeon to visualize the vas deferens ducts which are then dissected and repositioned. The hole can be left to heal on its own or a suture or two may be placed to secure it.
Recovery After a Vasectomy Surgery
The recovery period after a non scalpel vasectomy surgery is typically around two days, after which normal activity can be resumed including sexual intercourse and strenuous exercise after a few more days. As the anaesthetic wears off following the procedure, there can be a small amount of pain which can be managed with oral pain killers and an ice pack applied to the surgical site.
Sexual performance should not be affected by a vasectomy, there is still an ejaculation of semen but it just doesn’t contain sperm anymore. Sexual desire and libido are very unlikely to abate, in fact some men report an increase after a vasectomy.
Screening for sperm will be carried out a couple of times over the first few months after the surgery to ensure that no sperm is present in the semen. Until this has been confirmed it is vital to still use another form of birth control or contraception during sexual intercourse.
How Much Should a Vasectomy Cost?
The cost of a vasectomy is in the region of $500-$1000 for the surgery and after care including tests. And insurance providers may cover these costs for you if for birth control purposes.
The alternative to non-scalpel surgery is scalpel vasectomy surgery which can incur more pain, result in scarring, and also take two weeks for recovery, so if your surgeon isn’t giving you the option of non-scalpel surgery then you may want to talk to another specialist who can offer you this option.