There are 3 main reasons why a man would consider having a vasectomy procedure; they don’t want more kids, their partner has health risks and shouldn’t get kids or they never want to be parents.

Vasectomies are the most effective form of male birth control and chances of failure are very low.1

What You Need to Know About Getting a Vasectomy

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure during which an incision is made or a small hole is punctured on the scrotum. The doctor feels around for the tubes that transport sperm from the testes to the penis (vas deferens) and pulls them out through the incision.

Most times, a tiny section of the tube is removed and then the tubes are sealed back together either through surgical clips or by cauterizing (using heat). The whole process takes less than 2 hours and local anesthesia is used.

Are vasectomies painful?

This is a quick and painless procedure and your doctor will try and make it as comfortable as possible. Before the vasectomy, the doctor injects your scrotum with local anesthesia to numb the surgical site and may sometimes give medication.

You may feel a little discomfort when the numbing shot is given or during the procedure as the doctor pulls out the vas defense but other than that, you will be fine.

Types of vasectomies

There are 2 main types of vasectomies; no-scalpel vasectomy and incision technique.

The Incision Technique

For the incision technique, the doctor makes a cut on one side of the scrotum and pulls the vas deferens out. The tubes are then clamped on 2 sides and the segment between the camps removed. After the sealing procedure, the tubes are gently put back in and the incision sealed using stitches.

The no-scalpel vasectomy

The no-scalpel vasectomy, on the other hand, is safer and non-invasive. The doctor feels around for the tubes and holds then under the scrotum. They then hold them in place using a clamp and make a small puncture near the tubes before safely taking them out.

The tubes are cut and cauterized before being put back in. In this case, no stitches are required as the punctured hole is usually too small and can heal naturally.

Other vasectomy procedures include the open-ended vasectomy in which only one end of the cut vas deferens is sealed and a vas clip implantation where a tiny plastic clip is used to block sperm from flowing through the tubes.

Main side effects of a vasectomy procedure

The most common side effects of a vasectomy are

  • Mild pain and swelling.
  • Bleeding.
  • Formation of blood clots in the scrotum.
  • Infection in the surgical site.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Blood in the semen.
  • Vasectomy regret.

Serious side effects and complications are extremely rare.2

Before having the procedure done, ensure you discuss it with your partner and that you weigh all your options as vasectomies are a permanent form of birth control.

Links to sources used

  1. How effective is vasectomy? – https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vasectomy/conditioninfo/effective
  2. Risks and Complications of Vasectomy – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26705898_Risks_and_Complications_of_Vasectomy