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Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons offers vasectomy procedures for men seeking a form of birth control.

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is an elective, minimally invasive surgical procedure that provides birth control for men. A vasectomy prevents sperm from moving out of the testicles and into semen. After a successful vasectomy, men are unable to get women pregnant.

A vasectomy is considered a permanent procedure.

How is a vasectomy done?

A urological surgeon cuts the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra. This usually is an in-office procedure that takes about 30 minutes. Patients are awake during the procedure. A local anesthetic is used to numb the scrotum.

What are vasectomy options for men?

Men seeking a vasectomy have two surgical options:

  • Conventional vasectomy: A cut is made in the scrotum to reach the vas deferens. A small section of the vas deferens is cut and removed. The remaining ends of the vas deferens are cauterized to close the opening and tied off with stitches. This is done on each testicle, either through the initial incision or through a second incision. When the procedure is complete, the incisions will be closed with a few stitches or a skin glue.
  • No-scalpel vasectomy: A small puncture hole is made on one side of the scrotum. The vas deferens will be located under the skin and pulled through the hole. It will be cut and a small section removed. The ends of the vas deferens are cauterized or tied off and placed back under the skin. This is done on each testicle. No stitches are needed to close the puncture holes.

What does recovery from a vasectomy involve?

Most vasectomy patients go home the same day. Recovery usually takes about a week for those who follow these instructions:

  • Stay off your feet as much as possible for the first two days.
  • An ice bag or bag of frozen peas may help to keep swelling down.
  • Wear an athletic supporter for support.
  • Don’t soak in the bath for 2 to 3 days. Showering the following day is fine.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or exercise for 4 or 5 days.

Failure to follow these instructions may cause the recovery to last several weeks.

How will I know whether I’m sterile after a vasectomy?

Patients’ semen is tested to make sure there are no sperm in it. There will be sperm in the ejaculate for some time, even after a successful vasectomy.

You are not considered sterile until two consecutive semen analyses are negative for sperm. Until then, other contraceptive options must be used.

How will my sex life change after a vasectomy?

A vasectomy does not affect a man’s sex life. You still should be able to have erections. You still will have ejaculate when you have an orgasm, essentially in the same amount as before. However, there won't be any sperm in the ejaculate.

A vasectomy does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Men who have a vasectomy are urged to practice safe sex to avoid contracting STDs.

How will a vasectomy affect my testosterone production?

A vasectomy does not affect testosterone production. Voice pitch and hair distribution, both driven by testosterone, are not affected.

Do vasectomies fail?

Failure is one possible outcome of a vasectomy. The vas deferens can reconnect and sperm can again flow, possibly causing a man to become fertile again. About 1 of every 5,000 to 6,000 vasectomies fail.

Learn more about vasectomy procedures

U.S. National Library of Medicine

National Institutes of Health: Vasectomy

Urology Care Foundation: What is a vasectomy?

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