Vasectomy and Sex Facts

If you are a man who is in agreement with your partner that you either have enough children or you wish to remain childless, the vasectomy option is available to you.

It is a very simple and relatively painless procedure, performed in a doctor's office with local anesthesia, allowing the patient to walk out of the facility in less than an hour without losing any work time.

What is involved in the procedure?

The procedure is very straightforward and can be done in one of two ways. One procedure requires a very small incision on the scrotum, after a suitable local anesthetic is applied, allowing the surgeon to utilize a special instrument that is similar to a crotchet needle to pull out one of your vas deferens. After taking firm control of that tube, which leads from the testicles to the seminal vesicle, the surgeon will cut the vas deferens and tie off both ends to prevent any sperm that is produced from being ejaculated with your seminal fluid.

The same procedure is used on the other side of your scrotum. The incision normally is so small, about 1/4 inch, that it can be closed using superglue or a small metal clamp, which will be removed after a few days.

An alternative practice to this first method is to double over the vas deferens and tie it off to prevent the passage of sperm. This procedure is much easier to reverse, should a man change his mind and decide that he would like to try to have children with his partner.

The surgeon will insert a large-gauge needle with a hook to capture the vas deferens and pull it through the hole created, then double over and tie off the tube. This method also requires two separate entries into the scrotum, and like in the previous procedure, a local anesthetic is applied first, making the whole thing relatively painless. Here again, closure is usually done with surgical-grade superglue.

In most instances, this procedure is used in individuals who may be in unstable relationships, not wanting children at the moment or just not wanting to subject their female partner to other methods of birth control. Birth control pills can have side effects, and tubal ligation is a much more invasive procedure for a woman that a vasectomy is for a man, requiring hospitalization and causing pain and discomfort.

In both cases, after the a suitable amount of time-about 15 to 20 days-the patient should have the first of two tests performed to assure that there are no sperm left in his seminal fluids.

How will it affect your sex drive?

Vasectomies should in no way to be mistaken for castration. The procedure does not diminish one's sexual desire. The opposite may even be true, but you need not fear the possible procreative consequences of spontaneous anonymous beer-goggle sex.

This little procedure may save many an unwanted pregnancy with subsequent abortion or "unwanted" offspring. It does not protect from STDs and may lead to more promiscuous behavior in some individuals. Overall, it is a desirable procedure.

Can a vasectomy be reversed if you change your mind?

Vasectomies generally are reversible, but the reversal is far more expensive as well as much more complicated than the vasectomy and is not an outpatient procedure. Also, reversals are not always successful, as scar tissue forms inside the scrotum after a few years. A man planning to have a vasectomy should be quite certain that he does not want (more) children, and he should not assume that an attempt to reverse the procedure would work.

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