Getting a vasectomy is a big decision for men and their partners that sounds a little scarier than it should. One in six men opt for this form of birth control, since it's the most effective form of contraception, failing less than one percent of the time. Even better, it's a simple procedure that can be performed in your urologist's office in 15 minutes or less - and you are awake for the entire procedure.
During the procedure, the two vas deferens are cut and sealed off. Although your testes will still make sperm, due to the severed vas deferens they won't be able to travel from your testes to your penis. Instead, your sperm will be absorbed into your body.
One of the common concerns with this procedure is pain. Typically, you'll feel ten to 15 seconds of minor discomfort while a numbing medication is injected to your scrotum, but that's about it during the procedure. In fact - many patients say the visit is easier than a trip to the dentist.
In the days following the procedure the scrotum may be bruised or swollen. That's commonly treated with ice packs and over the counter pain medications. In fact, men may be disappointed they don't get more time to rest because recovery happens so quickly.
Men are able to return to normal sexual activity after about a week. However, in the first ten weeks or approximately 30 ejaculations after surgery a second form of birth control should be used until a doctor has verified that the ejaculate no longer contains sperm. This is usually about six weeks later. You need to have a doctor examine your ejaculate you won't be able to tell if sperm is present just by looking at it.
"There are no permanent side effects, other than that you will not be able to get someone pregnant after we have proven that there are no sperm in your ejaculate," said University of Utah Health Urologic Surgeon Dr. Jim Hotaling.