A vasectomy is a surgical procedure to produce male sterilisation and is known colloquially as ‘the snip’. The vessels that carry sperm to the semen are cut so that intercourse cannot result in pregnancy. The vasectomy is said to be greater than 99% effective and does not impact on your ability to have sex. Here are some pros and cons of a vasectomy.
Before you decide to have a vasectomy, your doctor may ask you some detailed questions and recommend counselling before agreeing to perform the procedure. It is a good idea to involve your partner in these discussions, but it is not a legal requirement to get their permission.
How is a vasectomy performed?
Because the tubes are near the surface of the skin, they are easy to access by the surgeon so you may not require a general anaesthetic for a vasectomy. Instead it can be carried out under local anaesthetic. This means a quick procedure, with fewer possible complications and a quicker recovery time than if you went under a general anaesthetic. In fact, men who have had a vasectomy can usually return to work within a couple of days, although bruising and pain may persist for a few weeks. The pain should be manageable with simple remedies such as over-the-counter pain relief, avoiding heavy weights and strenuous activity and with the use of an athletic support.
Overall vasectomy is much easier than the equivalent procedure for a woman, which is more complex, invasive, requires a general anaesthetic and can take several weeks to recover from.
The contraceptive effects of a vasectomy
Around 8 to 12 weeks after your surgery, you will no longer have to use contraception to avoid pregnancy. The lag time from the date of your vasectomy surgery is because your semen may still have sperm after the operation: generally, 2 semen tests are required to ensure that you can no longer make your partner pregnant.
Important information about a Vasectomy
Vasectomy does not protect against sexually transmitted infections, so you should consider continuing to use a condom.
The vasectomy can be difficult to reverse and so it is considered permanent.
What is a vasectomy reversal?
For various reasons, some men who have had a vasectomy then regret their decision and seek a vasectomy reversal.
Unlike the original vasectomy, vasectomy reversal is carried out under general or spinal anaesthetic. This time, the surgeon aims to re-join the tubes that had been cut, using microsurgery techniques. The procedure usually takes less than 4 hours and you are likely able to go home the same day. It can take around 2 weeks to recover.
You will know if the reversal was successful with a sperm count – your doctor will collect semen samples for a few months until the count stabilises. However, it can take up to a year for sperm to return. While there is no guarantee that sperm will return to your semen or that seminal sperm will produce a viable pregnancy, there is a better chance if your original vasectomy was less than 20 years ago and your partner is less than 35 years old.
About Ramsay Health Care
At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!
At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment for your vasectomy. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.