Done Having Babies?
A Closer Look at Vasectomy
By Annette Benedetti
You have had your babies and you love them with all of your heart, however, recently you have noticed that when your friend brings their newborn with them for a visit, after a couple of minutes of cuddling, you are ready to hand the adorable little guy back.
You are officially done having babies.
Now that you have made the decision to move onto the next phase of your parenting life (Goodbye diapers, hello adolescence!), what do you do? Going back to the days of condoms and the rhythm method sounds risky, and let’s be honest, those methods were less than reliable and may have even resulted in one of your wonderful tykes (shhhh, they’ll never know). You are ready to examine some serious and permanent options including the ever-intriguing vasectomy.
John Doe, whose name has been changed for obvious reasons, is a Bend resident who chose to have a vasectomy after exploring a variety of options with his wife. He says, “My wife and I were happy with our two kids. Things just felt right and we knew we were done. I wanted to take ownership of this decision and to be the one to make sure our family dynamic didn’t change. I felt like my wife had done her part giving birth to our two children. It was my turn.”
The decision to get a vasectomy shouldn’t be taken lightly. It requires surgery and is meant to be permanent. Researching the procedure ahead of time and talking to at least one or two doctors is advised.
The following are answers to common questions that come up when considering a vasectomy:
What is a Vasectomy?
According to information provided by Bend Urology, a vasectomy is a simple surgery that includes cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm into a man’s semen. Closing off this tube prevents a man from being able to impregnate a woman. The surgery is reversible, but more complex.
Is a Vasectomy Effective?
Information provided by Planned Parenthood states that a Vasectomy is nearly 100 percent effective and is the most effective birth control for men. It is important to note that it is not immediately effective because sperm remains beyond the blocked tubes until they are used up which takes approximately three months. Your medical professional should perform a semen analysis test to confirm that there are no sperm left in your ejaculate before having unprotected sex.
What are the Types of Vasectomy?
There are two ways that sterilization can take place: the incision method and the no-incision method. During the incision method, a local anesthetic is injected into the pelvic area and then an incision is either made on each side of the scrotum or one is made in the center, so the vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm) can be reached. The tubes are then blocked, in some cases a small part of it is removed, and then they are tied off.
During the no-incision method, a tiny puncture is made to reach both tubes and then they are tied off, cauterized, or blocked. Stitches are not required.
Is a Vasectomy Safe?
The procedure is considered safe, however, as with any medical procedure, there is a risk. You should talk with a medical professional to determine whether or not the procedure is safe for you. The most common complication that arises is caused by an infection. Post-surgery you should call your doctor if you have any of the following signs:
- Fever over 100 degrees F.
- Excessive pain or swelling.
- Your doctor should provide you with a full list of signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for.
Is a Vasectomy Painful?
“I was surprised by the discomfort I experienced during the procedure,” says John Doe. “My friends who had had one, and the literature I read, made it sound like it was painless. It was not. It is definitely bearable, but not painless at all. Still totally worth it though.”
You will receive numbing medication and/or sedatives. Conscious sedation or local anesthesia will be used based on what your provider thinks is best for you. Both help minimize the discomfort you experience during the procedure.
What is the Recovery Time?
It typically takes a day or two of rest before patients are up and walking around. You should wait a week or so before performing any strenuous exercise.
What Does a Vasectomy Cost?
The cost of your vasectomy will largely depend on where you get it done and your insurance situation. According to Planned Parenthood, the nationwide cost of a vasectomy ranges from $0-$1000 (Sterilization for women can cost up to six times as much). If cost is an issue, look
for a clinic that uses a sliding scale.
Prior to getting a vasectomy you and your partner should be absolutely sure you are done having children. It is also important to note that having your sperm checked post operation is important. While most accidents end up being looked upon as happy ones, the final check up is key to making sure you get the desired results.