Our expert says:
How Vasectomy Works
Vasectomy is a simple operation. It makes men sterile by keeping sperm out of the fluid that spurts from the penis during sex. Sperm are the reproductive cells in men. Pregnancy can happen if a sperm joins with a woman's egg.
Sperm are produced in the testicles. They pass through tubes, the vas deferens, to other glands and mix with seminal fluids to form semen. Vasectomy blocks the vas deferens and keeps sperm out of the seminal fluid. The sperm are absorbed by the body instead of being ejaculated. Without sperm, your "cum" (ejaculate) cannot cause pregnancy.
Vasectomy does not affect masculinity. And it will not affect your ability to get hard and stay hard. The same is true for your sex organs, sexuality, and sexual pleasure. No glands or organs are removed or altered. Your hormones and sperm continue being produced. Your ejaculate will look just like it always did. And there will be about as much of it as before.
Vasectomy is not immediately effective. Sperm remains in the system beyond the blocked tubes. You must use other birth control until the sperm are used up. It usually takes from 15-20 ejaculations. A simple test—semen analysis—shows when there is no more sperm in the seminal fluid.
Very rarely, tubes grow back together again and pregnancy may occur. This happens in one out of 1,000 cases in the first year.
To Prevent Unintended Pregnancy
Vasectomy is the most effective birth control for sexually active men. You and your partner will need no other contraceptive after a successful vasectomy. You must regard sterilization as permanent, even though it may be reversible in some cases. Your decision to have no biological children in the future must be firm. You must be absolutely sure you will never change your mind or regret your choice no matter how your life changes.
Reasons for Considering Vasectomy:
* You want to enjoy having sex without causing pregnancy.
* You don't want to have a child in the future.
* Your partner agrees that your family is complete, and no more children are wanted.
* You and your partner have concerns about the side effects of other methods.
* Other methods are unacceptable.
* Your partner's health would be threatened by a future pregnancy.
* You don't want to pass on a hereditary illness or disability.
* You want to spare your partner the surgery and expense of tubal sterilization for women is more complicated and costly.
Do Not Consider Vasectomy if:
* You want to have a child in the future.
* You are being pressured by your partner, friends, or family you must want the operation.
* You have marriage or sexual problems, short-term mental or physical illnesses, financial worries, or you are out of work vasectomy is not a good solution for temporary problems.
* You have not considered possible changes in your life, such as divorce, remarriage, or death of children.
* You have not discussed it fully with your partner.
* You plan to bank sperm in case you change your mind, sperm banks collect, freeze, and thaw sperm for alternative insemination. However, some men's sperm does not survive freezing. And after six months, frozen sperm may begin to lose the ability to fertilize an egg.
Consider all other methods before you choose vasectomy. The Pill, Norplant®, Depo-Provera®, and IUDs are more than 97 percent effective. Most women can use them with little risk of serious complications. Other methods that have little or no side effects are diaphragms, cervical caps, condoms, vaginal pouches, periodic abstinence, and contraceptive foams, jellies, suppositories.
Your partner also may want to consider sterilization. There are new sterilization procedures for women that reduce the cost, recovery time, and extent of the surgery. But vasectomy is simpler, costs less, and has fewer risks. In all cases, the results must be considered permanent.
So, think carefully about what sterilization will mean for both of you and your futures
Dr Elna McIntosh
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