Definition of a Vasectomy
A vasectomy is a simple, safe, and very effective surgical procedure that makes a man intentionally sterile (unable to father a child). Though a vasectomy is a relatively simple procedure, having one performed is a serious step to take and should be considered permanent. A patient considering a vasectomy should be absolutely positive that he does not want children in the future.
During a vasectomy, the two vas deferens are cut to prevent sperm from traveling from the testicles to the penis. This will be the only change in the reproductive system.
The testes will continue in the production of sperm and testosterone (male hormone), but since the sperm will have nowhere to go they will die and be harmlessly absorbed by the body. The prostate and the seminal vesicles will continue to produce fluids (semen that does not contain sperm) that come out during ejaculation, therefore the semen will not look or feel any different.
Testosterone levels will also remain the same as before your vasectomy, so hair distribution, voice pitch, overall strength level, and sexual drive will not change after the procedure is finished.
How to prepare for a vasectomy
We ask that patients refrain from taking aspirin or any products that contain aspirin for at least one week before having a vasectomy. We also advise patients to inform us of any anti-coagulation or blood thinning medications that he is on at the time.
On the day of the surgery, it is advised that the patient shower and thoroughly clean the scrotum. Shaving of the scrotum will need to be done prior to the operation and is occasionally done immediately preceding the procedure. Patients are also advised to eat a normal meal the morning and day of the procedure.
If your spouse or partner is the one undergoing a vasectomy, check out our blog to learn tips on how to help your partner before and after the vasectomy procedure.
What to expect during the vasectomy
The patient will be asked to undress and lie down on a table. Sterile drapes will be placed on top of the body to prevent infection. Before the procedure starts, the patient will receive injections of an anesthetic into the scrotum in order to prevent any pain.
Once the anesthetic has set in, the surgeon makes two tiny puncture incisions in the scrotum with an instrument shaped like a sharp pointed clamp. The vas deferens on each side are identified and lifted out of this tiny puncture site. The vas deferens are then cut, and a tiny section of each one is removed.
The two cut ends of the vas deferens are then cauterized (sealed by heat) and will also be clipped off. The puncture incisions will naturally heal, usually without any additional stitches needed.
After your vasectomy
As mentioned before, it is possible that some sperm can remain in the upper portion of the vas deferens after the procedure. It is absolutely necessary for the patient to continue to use some form of birth control until a semen analysis performed by a professional shows that the patient’s sperm count is zero. This analysis should be scheduled approximately two months after the vasectomy is performed.
Take a look at our procedures page for more information.