Ever thought about vasectomy? No? Neither have I. With so many birth control options, people seldom think about a permanent method. Yet vasectomy remains one of the best methods of birth control.
Vasectomy prevents the release of sperm when a man ejaculates. During vasectomy, the vas deferens from each testicle is clamped, cut, or otherwise sealed. This prevents the sperm from mixing with the semen that is ejaculated from the penis.
You might be wondering if sperm and semen are synonymous and hence the same? They are not. The male produces semen, which has the sperm in it. Semen is the fluid that is ejaculated at the end (usually) of the sexual act. Vasectomy blocks the tubes before the seminal vesicles and prostate.
Yes, a man still ejaculate! The ejaculate carries about the same amount of fluid but without the sperm. Therefore an egg cannot be fertilized when there are no sperm in the semen.
So what happens to all the swimmers? The testicles continue to produce sperm, but the sperm is reabsorbed by the body. Before you utter 'eewww', let me tell you that this also happens to the sperm that are not ejaculated after a while, regardless of whether a man had a vasectomy!
CAUTION! It usually takes several months after a vasectomy for all remaining sperm to be ejaculated or reabsorbed. You can still get your partner pregnant! It is important to use another method of birth control until a semen sample tested and it shows a zero sperm count.
Here are some things to consider:
The procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Vasectomy is typically done in a doctor’s office or clinic, using a local anesthetic rather than general anesthesia. It can even be done without a scalpel, instead a small hole is punctured with a special device.
Vasectomy is a very effective method. Just how effective? How about 99.85%! Only 1 to 2 women out of 1,000 will have an unwanted pregnancy in the first year after their partners have had a vasectomy.
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2010 found that men who have had a vasectomy do not report a decrease in desire, difficulty maintaining an erection or problem with orgasm. In fact, the men who have had the procedure were somewhat more likely to be very satisfied with their relationship. This could be due to the decreased anxiety about unwanted pregnancy and conflict over the use of contraception.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS?
It is important to note that you can still transmit or acquire STI’s, including HIV when you have unprotected sex. If you or your partner has an infection or you’re not sure, you should always use a condom.
IS IT REVERSIBLE?
Yes and no. Even through surgery to reconnect the vas deferens is available, the reversal procedure is difficult and depends on numerous factors. How successful a procedure is depends on several factors – in particular – the length of time since the vasectomy was done. The longer the interval, the more difficult the procedure is, and may not be irreversible for everyone.
KEEP IN MIND!
If you are considering a vasectomy, be absolutely certain that you will never want to father a child!
Are Sexual Problems More Common in Men who Have Had a Vasectomy? A population-based study of Australian men. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Volume 7, Issue 2pt1, pages 736-742. 2010.
7 Must-Know Vasectomy Facts. Berkeley University of California Wellness. 2013. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/sexual-health/article/7-must-know-vasectomy-facts
Vasectomy. WebMd. http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/vasectomy-14387