No-Scalpel Vasectomy Frequently Asked Questions
- Will I experience much pain with my vasectomy?
- What are the risks of vasectomy?
- Will my insurance cover a vasectomy?
- What are signs I should watch for after my surgery?
- When can I go back to work and other activities, like sports?
- Does a vasectomy affect a man's masculinity?
- When can I resume sexual activity?
- Can I immediately stop using birth control?
- Can a vasectomy be reversed?
1. Will I experience much pain with my vasectomy?
When the local anesthetic is injected into the skin of the scrotum, you will feel some discomfort (a mild burning sensation). As soon as this takes effect, you should feel no pain. To help with soreness in the first few days you should wear an athletic supporter or snug-fitting jockey shorts to help support the scrotum. For about one week, avoid lifting anything heavier than 15 pounds and avoid strenuous exercise or activity.
2. What are the risks of vasectomy?
A vasectomy is considered a very safe procedure, but any surgery involves some risk. Possible risks include bleeding, infection and pain in the testis, which usually resolves on its own. Very rarely a lump can form at the site where the vas deferens are blocked. This is called a sperm granuloma. Though granulomas frequently resolve on their own, they may occasionally require antibiotics or surgery.
There are no proven long-term health risks from vasectomy. The research continues to support the findings that men who have vasectomies are no more likely than other men to develop heart disease, prostate cancer or any other illnesses.
In rare cases (about one in 1,000) the vas deferens become reconnected. Should this occur, it will be detected by the sperm analysis done after the procedure. The procedure can then be repeated if necessary.
4. What are signs I should watch for after my surgery?
Swelling and bruising in the genital area is part of the normal healing process. Some aching in the testicles can occur, but usually resolves on its own. Though complications are very rare, if you experience fever, severe pain or swelling that is getting worse instead of better, please call us at (206) 341-1326.
5. When can I go back to work and other activities, like sports?
It is important to not overdo it in the first week after your procedure. Some men choose to have their vasectomy on a Wednesday, returning to work the following Monday. While one week is generally enough time before resuming normal activity, it takes two to three weeks for the body to fully recover. So even if you're feeling back to normal soon after your no-scalpel vasectomy, the best policy is to allow a week of recuperation to avoid possible complications.
6. Does a vasectomy affect a man's masculinity?
Absolutely not. The operation has no effect on the amount of sperm produced, the sex drive, the ability to have an erection, the amount of semen ejaculated during sex or other male sex characteristics. The only effect is that sperm is stopped from being ejaculated.
In fact, most men find the quality of their sex life is the same or better because they no longer have to worry about pregnancy during sex.
8. Can I immediately stop using birth control?
No. Sperm can remain in the upper part of the vas deferens and still may be ejaculated for a period of time. You must continue to use birth control methods until tests after surgery conclusively show that your sperm count has dropped to zero. This is confirmed by testing semen samples about eight weeks after the procedure. When there is no evidence of sperm in two samples, you may stop using birth control. If there are any sperm present in the first specimen, you will be asked to bring in another sample for testing in one month.
9. Can a vasectomy be reversed?
You should go into a vasectomy considering it permanent, as reversal operations are complex and may not succeed. Only men who are confident that they will be happy with this life-long decision should choose vasectomy. However, reversal can be attempted by way of re-attaching the vas deferens, or tubes. The likelihood of the reversal leading to pregnancy depends on a number of factors, including the number of years since your vasectomy, how it was done, and your partner's age and fertility potential.