At Temple Health, our urologists have extensive experience in performing vasectomies, a minor surgical procedure used for birth control. Before a vasectomy, sperm enters the semen, which is the fluid ejaculated from the penis. After a vasectomy, sperm are blocked from entering the semen, thus preventing pregnancy. The body still produces sperm, but they are absorbed back into the body.
Other than abstinence, vasectomy is the most effective birth control method available. Research indicates only one to two women in 1,000 becomes pregnant if their partners have undergone a vasectomy.
What to Expect
A vasectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure at your urologist’s office with a local anesthetic. With a local anesthetic, you are able to feel pressure or movement, but should not feel pain. Most patients do not require sedation; however, sedation may be recommended to make the experience as pain free as possible. If you and your urologist determine you need to be sedated for the procedure, a vasectomy can be done at an outpatient surgery center or in the hospital.
The Two Types of Vasectomies
During a traditional vasectomy, the urologist makes two small cuts on the scrotum, providing access to the vas deferens. The urologist cuts and either sears or ties the ends of the vas deferens on both sides. The cuts on the scrotum are either closed with dissolvable stitches or allowed to heal on their own.
During a no-scalpel vasectomy, the urologist manually feels for the vas deferens through the scrotum and then holds the vas deferens in place with a clamp. From there, a small hole is made in the skin, allowing the urologist to cut the vas deferens, sear or tie the ends, and put it back in the scrotum.
Recovery After Vasectomy
After the procedure, you need to rest for several days and may have some mild pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, an ice pack and supportive undergarments, can help during recovery. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Many people can return to work the day after a vasectomy and are fully healed within about a week. Contact your doctor if you have severe pain or swelling after a vasectomy, which may be a sign of infection.
- Most people can return to sexual activity within a week. Keep in mind, it can take up to three months for sperm to completely clear out of the semen. You need to follow up with your urologist for regular semen analyses and use a back-up form of birth control until you get the okay from your doctor.
Do not have unprotected intercourse after your vasectomy until your doctor has determined that there is no more sperm in your ejaculate.
Why Temple Health
Our multidisciplinary team of specialists collaborates to specifically, successfully and safely perform vasectomies. We have extensive experience performing vasectomies and perform over 100 procedures each year.