At some point, most fathers contemplate what many men consider the unthinkable: a vasectomy colloquially called the “big snip.”
We know — the thought of snipping a part of your manhood seems cringe-worthy and maybe even downright terrifying. The good news is that vasectomies are pretty simple procedures. You receive local anesthesia, so you don’t feel a thing, and the procedure takes less than an hour.
Side effects are minimal, and you can return to work and other activities within a few days. That said, you should still take into account a few important factors before scheduling your surgery.
From our experts at Urology Specialist Group, here are five big things you should consider before you get a vasectomy:
1. What does your partner think?
If you’re in a relationship, getting a vasectomy isn’t — or shouldn’t be — a one-way decision. Consider your partner’s thoughts on the matter. Vasectomies should be considered permanent birth control in most cases, so make sure your partner is also ready for this.
2. Are you really done having children?
You should think long and hard about this. Getting a vasectomy is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
On the other hand, don’t stress too much: Life is incredibly dynamic and sometimes — often, actually — life surprises us and there’s not much we can do. If you change your mind about having children, get a new partner, or encounter any other circumstance that changes things, you still have options.
3. What will you do if you want it reversed?
While you do have options if you want to reverse your vasectomy, they aren’t easy (or cheap). A vasectomy reversal takes several hours and is a much more complex and delicate procedure than a vasectomy itself. A reversal is also expensive and can lead to more side effects and health complications.
Nonetheless, it can be done. A vasectomy reversal involves reattaching your vas deferens in one of two ways:
- Vasovasostomy: Your surgeon sews the two ends of your vas deferens back together.
- Vasoepididymostomy: Your surgeon attaches the end of your vas deferens directly to your epididymis, the organ at the back of each testicle that holds your sperm.
You can also try surgical sperm extraction combined with in vitro fertilization to conceive.
4. Will a vasectomy affect your sex life?
Usually, a vasectomy won’t affect your sex life at all, except that you may be too sore for intercourse in the few days following your surgery. Most men retain their libido, their ability to get an erection, and their ability to ejaculate.
Keep in mind that only 5-10% of your ejaculate comes from your testicles — the rest comes from other structures such as your seminal vesicles. The only difference is that the main portion of your ejaculate contains no sperm. However, the sperm elimination after your vasectomy is gradual, so you should keep using additional birth control methods until your semen sample comes back completely free of sperm.
5. What are the side effects?
Generally, vasectomies are safe and effective and produce minimal side effects. Most men return to work in 2-3 days and resume other activities such as sports and sex in about a week.
You might experience the following after your procedure:
- Soreness or tenderness in your groin area
- Discoloration or bruising
- Short-term bleeding
Interested in learning more about vasectomy and exploring your options? The experts at Urology Specialist Group are happy to walk you and your partner through the process and explain the details.
To make an appointment at one of our offices in Hialeah or Miami Lakes, Florida, call Urology Specialist Group today or request an appointment online