Nearly 500,000 men get vasectomies each year in the United States. Vasectomy is a simple, safe procedure that works by separating sperm from semen to significantly decrease your chances of fathering a child.
In fact, vasectomies have an almost 100% efficacy rate in preventing pregnancy. During the procedure, the vas deferens tubes that transport sperm to your scrotum are severed. When sperm can’t reach the seminal fluid, you’re no longer fertile.
Vasectomy can be a great option for permanent birth control if you’re sure you don’t want to have any children in the future. Eric Seaman, MD and our team specialize in vasectomy procedures, and we’re here to help you know what to expect.
What happens during a vasectomy
Vasectomies generally take 10-30 minutes in the office. Dr. Seaman and our team give you a handout with instructions to prepare for the procedure. After you arrive, we administer local anesthesia, and you’ll lie down on a table for the duration of the procedure.
Dr. Seaman makes a very small incision on the front of your scrotum and pulls out the vas deferens tubes. He cuts and seals the tubes and places them back into your scrotum. We close the incision and the procedure is complete.
Immediately after your vasectomy
Vasectomies are performed in an outpatient setting, so you can go home as soon as the procedure is over. Plan on staying home from work and resting for 1-2 days.
Our team will instruct you on how to care for your scrotum. Depending on the type of vasectomy you had, you may have bandages that need to be changed. Any bleeding or oozing around the incision should clear up within 24 hours.
Pain following a vasectomy is generally mild, but it can last a few days. Dr. Seaman may prescribe medication like acetaminophen to keep you comfortable.
Applying an ice pack on your scrotum for a few minutes at a time can also help minimize pain and swelling. If you’re bothered by discomfort when you move around, consider wearing a jock strap or tight-fitting underwear for extra support.
Returning to daily life after a vasectomy
After a few days of rest, you can ease back into your daily routine. Do your best to keep your activities light for about 10-12 days following a vasectomy.
Follow Dr. Seaman’s guidelines regarding sexual intercourse. It’s generally a good idea to avoid sex and ejaculation for a week to give your scrotum adequate time to heal.
When you do start having sex again, you shouldn’t experience any changes in sex drive or sensation. It’s important to continue using other forms of birth control for at least 12 weeks after you get a vasectomy.
Once you’ve had two semen analyses that don’t show sperm, you can consider your vasectomy permanently effective. You can discontinue other methods of birth control at that time, but remember that only latex condoms protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Wondering if vasectomy could be a good birth control option for you? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Seaman and our team. Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, at 973-259-6695 or book an appointment online.