Vasectomy is the most effective form of contraception after abstinence. Many couples select vasectomy for permanent contraception because it can be done in the urologist’s office with local numbing medication and minimal risk of complications.
Procedure: The vas deferens are the tubes that carry the sperm away from each testicle. In a “no-scalpel” vasectomy, the urologist makes a small puncture in the scrotal skin. Then a segment from each “vas” is removed and the ends are sealed shut. One or two dissolvable sutures are placed in the skin.
- Men are instructed to avoid any heavy lifting or vigorous activity for 3 days after vasectomy to avoid swelling and bleeding. Ice and rest are helpful in the first 24 hours. Some men use mild pain relievers when the numbing medication wears off.
- There are still sperm stored inside a man’s body after vasectomy, and it typically takes 15 ejaculations or 3 months to clear them. A man is not considered infertile after vasectomy until the urologist tells him sperm are absent from a semen analysis. Until then, other forms of contraception must be continued.
- Vasectomy has no effect on production of male hormones (testosterone).
- Vasectomy only slightly reduces the amount of fluid in a man’s ejaculate.
- The risk of fathering a child after a vasectomy and a negative semen analysis is 1 in 2000.
- Reversal of vasectomy–surgically reconnecting the severed ends–is very expensive and often unsuccessful. For this reason, vasectomy should be considered permanent.
The urologists at Fore River Urology are skilled in the “no-scalpel vasectomy,” a method shown to reduce the risk for complications and pain. For a consultation, please call 207-518-6600.
Additional online information about vasectomy can be found at the Urology Care Foundation.