What is a Vasectomy?
DR. Amy PEARLMAN EXPLAIns
A vasectomy is a minimally invasive office procedure and a form of male birth control that cuts the supply of sperm to your semen intended to be a permanent form of contraception. It’s done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. Vasectomy has a low risk of problems and can usually be performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia.
How is the procedure performed?
Local anesthetic is injected into the nerves that go to each testicle. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, a small opening is made in the scrotal skin in between the testicles. Through this small opening, a segment of each vas is removed. The skin is closed with dissolvable suture.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR PROCEDURE?
Any man interested in undergoing a form of permanent sterility is a good candidate for a vasectomy. Most of the time, the vasectomy can be performed in the clinic. If your testicle(s) sit high in the scrotum, if you have had prior scrotal surgery, and/or there is significant tissue surrounding the vas, your vasectomy may need to be performed in the operating room.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR PROCEDURE?
Please plan on taking 2-3 days off from work after your procedure. Typically, antibiotics are not indicated for routine vasectomy. No need to shave your genitals (though if you routinely shave, ok to do this prior).
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER PROCEDURE?
Some bruising and swelling of the scrotum is common after a vasectomy. Apply ice to the area to limit swelling. Over-the-counter pain medication (acetaminophen and/or NSAIDs) can be taken every 4-6 hours as needed. No narcotic pain medication is necessary. You should refrain from ejaculation for about one week following your vasectomy.
- Cost-effective method of contraception
- Requires minimal time off of work
- Typically performed under local anesthetic in clinic
- Low risk of complications
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
While a vasectomy is intended for permanent sterility, it may still be possible to have biological children after a vasectomy. Though not always successful, a vasectomy can often be reversed and/or sperm directly taken from the testicle and used for in vitro fertilization.
Vasectomy does not produce immediate sterility. Following vasectomy, another form of contraception is needed until post-vasectomy semen analysis confirms no sperm or rare motile sperm in the ejaculate. Post-vasectomy semen analysis is usually performed 2 months after the procedure.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROVIDER
Dr. Amy Pearlman is fellowship trained in quality-of-life concerns affecting men, including procedures involving fertility. She routinely performs procedures in this area and will optimize comfort throughout the entire experience.