31 August 2018
Don’t know where to start? A vasectomy is an important decision and it’s advised that you carefully consider the procedure by doing your homework and discussing it with others who may be involved in the decision. That’s where we come in, we’re here to provide you with some key information and support you through the procedure, if you feel it’s for you.
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy, also known as male sterilisation, is a surgical procedure resulting in a permanent form of contraception for men which is more than 99% effective.
It’s a relatively quick and painless procedure, usually performed under local anaesthetic and you will be able to return home on the same day.
Does a vasectomy protect me from sexually transmitted infections/disease?
The long and short of that question is no. Although it’s a form of contraception, a vasectomy doesn’t protect you from contracting or passing on sexually transmitted infections/diseases.
Will it affect my sex life?
It doesn’t affect your ability to enjoy sex nor your sex drive. You’ll still have erections and ejaculate, but your semen will no longer contain sperm. Sex can resume as soon as it is comfortable for you to do so. However, another form of contraception must be used for at least 9-12 weeks after the procedure to allow full clearing of any remaining sperm in your tubes.
Is it possible to reverse the procedure?
A vasectomy reversal is possible, but if this is a burning question in your mind it’s unlikely that you should go ahead with the procedure. You should only have a vasectomy if you’re certain you don’t want any more children or don’t want children at all. A reversal procedure isn’t always successful. If you choose to, you can request to freeze sperm before treatment.
Is this solely a personal decision?
Of course, it’s your body and the ultimate decision lies with you. However, it is hugely important that if you’re in a relationship, you make this decision together. The consultant shouldn’t be the first person you talk to about this procedure. It is advised that you take time to think this decision through before visiting your urologist.
I feel a little embarrassed – is the procedure awkward?
There is no need to feel embarrassed or awkward when it comes to serious matters like this. In the daily life of a urologist this is an often performed procedure. However, we understand that’s only natural to feel that way. It is a short, 15 to 20 minute procedure and you shouldn’t feel any pain because of the anaesthetic.
Once the deed is done
Although mild discomfort, swelling and bruising of your scrotum is expected for a few days after a vasectomy, recovery is often swift and many return to work within a day or two. It is advised you avoid sport and heavy lifting for at least a week after the procedure to prevent any strain on healing wounds.
What do I need to be aware of?
Final points to take away with you would be:
- You will not be protected against STDs
- A reversal procedure is very complex and not always successful. You must be 100% sure this is what you’d like to do
- Contraception must still be used until two sperm tests confirm your semen is free of sperm
- Possible complications include bleeding inside scrotum, infection, or the tubes reforming and fertility resumes. However, complications from this type of surgery are very rare.
At Spire Harpenden Hospital, we provide a wide range of urology services including prostate surgery, kidney stones treatment and many others. Visit our page here for more information and for a no strings attached quote with one of our specialist urology consultants such as Mr Roux.