Vasectomy: An Overview
Vasectomy Definition: A vasectomy is a certain surgical procedure that is performed on adult males in which the vasa deferentia (tubes that carry sperm from the testicles) are cut, tied, or otherwise interrupted in a diligent manner. The semen no longer contains sperm after the tubes are cut so that conception cannot occur. The testicles continue to produce sperm, but they are eventually absorbed by the body.
Purpose of a Vasectomy
The purpose of the vasectomy is to facilitate very reliable contraception. The research indicates that most of the time the level of effectiveness is 99.6%. Vasectomy is the perhaps the most reliable method of contraception and has very few complications and also a faster recovery time than other various female sterilization methods.
The cost of a vasectomy is between $400 and $550 in the United States. Some insurance plans can also cover a part of the cost of the procedure.
Vasectomies are most often performed in the doctor's office or an outdoor clinic using the help of local anesthesia. The area around a patient's scrotum (the sac containing the testicles that produce sperm) will have to be shaved and cleaned with an antiseptic solution to reduce the chance of infection. A small incision is made in the scrotum. Each of the vasa deferentia (one from each testicle) is tied into two areas with nonabsorbable (permanent) sutures, and the tube is ultimately cut between the ties. These ends may be burned to decrease the chance that they will leak or grow back together.
"No Scalpel" Vasectomies
"No scalpel" vasectomies are rapidly growing regarding popularity. Instead of an incision, a small puncture is made right in the scrotum. The vasa differentia are cut and sealed in a manner same to that described above. No stitches are required, and the patient experiences much less pain. Other advantages include less damage to the tissues, less bleeding, reduced risk of infection, and no discomfort after the procedure. The no-scalpel method has been used in the United States since 1990; as of 2003, about 30% of vasectomies are performed with the help of this technique.
The patient is not determined sterile immediately after the procedure is finished. Men must use other methods of contraception too until two consecutive semen analyses done by the doctor confirm that there is no sperm present in the ejaculate. It takes about at least four to six weeks or 15–20 ejaculations to eradicate all of the sperm from the tubes.
Can Vasectomies Reversed?
In some cases, vasectomies can be reversed by a procedure known as a vasovasostomy. In this procedure, the surgeon reconnects the ends of the cut vasa deferentia. A vasectomy should be considered permanent, however, as there is no guarantee of a successful reversal. Vasovasostomies are mostly successful in approximately 40–50% of men.
No special physical measures are required for a vasectomy. The physician will first be assessing the patient's general health to identify any chance of potential problems that could occur in the future. The doctor will then explain the chances of the possible risks and also about the side effects of the procedure.