The natural process of fertilization happens when a man’s sperm reaches the woman’s mature egg cell or ovum. Usually, contraception works by stopping this natural method or by stopping the production of woman’s egg cells. Vasectomy is one method of male contraception.
What is Vasectomy?
Vasectomy or male sterilization is a safe and permanent method of birth control. It works by preventing the sperm from reaching the semen—the fluid ejaculated during sexual intercourse. Meaning, the semen during ejaculation won’t contain any sperm thus, fertilization cannot happen.
How is it Done?
Usually, a vasectomy is considered a minor operation and won’t require a man to stay confined in the hospital after the procedure. This is done by an urologist, an expert in urinary tract and reproductive system. During the procedure, the patient is kept awake and the urologist uses a local anesthesia to numb the scrotal area.
Vasectomy can be performed in two ways. The doctor can either make one or two cuts in the scrotum to access the vas deferens, or he can use “no-scalpel” method in which a small hole is punctured on the side of the scrotum to pull out the vas deferens. Once the physician had the access to the vas deferens, he will now cut the tube, tie or cauterize both ends and put it back in its original place. The procedure is performed on both testicles.
Age Requirements for Vasectomy
Age requirements for vasectomy vary from different institutions and countries. In the US, any man is qualified to have a vasectomy as long as he is over 18 years old and sound enough to decide for himself. However, this is only from a legal view point.
Medically, doctors are bound by a professional obligation and ethical standards to serve their clients. Although a man can be legally qualified to have a vasectomy, a doctor has all the right not to perform the operation if he thinks the man is too young to have the procedure and will regret it in his later life.
This means that the doctor’s position on vasectomy greatly depends on his personal and moral principles. You can get varying reactions from different doctors when you ask for vasectomy at a young age. Some doctors may refuse to perform the operation while some may show a little to no hesitations in doing the procedure.
Before Deciding for a Vasectomy
Your physician will ask about the circumstances that led you to decide for a vasectomy. He will also provide you counseling and information before he agrees to the procedure.
If you decide for a vasectomy, you must be very certain about not wanting to have children anymore. If you have second thoughts about the procedure, you can still consider other contraceptive methods which are also proven effective.
Remember that vasectomy won’t save you from getting sexually transmitted infection. You also shouldn’t make this decision after a big crisis or event that happened in your life like having a new baby or a terminated pregnancy.
Better yet, discuss this with your partner and get her approval before coming up to having vasectomy. Although this isn’t a necessary requirement, having your partner’s consent could be a big factor in maintaining a healthy relationship.
After The Procedure
After the procedure, it is normal to experience mild pain, hematoma and swelling in the scrotum. The doctor will prescribe pain medications to manage the discomfort and you’ll likely recover and feel normal a week after vasectomy. However, you can return to work one to two days after the procedure.
About sexual activity, you can resume it anytime you feel comfortable doing it so. However, it is best to rest for a few days or so. In addition, you still need to follow birth control procedures when you perform sexual intercourse after vasectomy. Usually, it takes 20-30 ejaculations before you clear out remaining sperm in your tubes. You also need to show zero sperm result in two consecutive semen analysis before you can consider that vasectomy went successful.
Does Vasectomy Lower Libido?
After a vasectomy, your body will still continue producing sperm and male sex hormone. It will not affect your sex drive. The only difference is that your semen will be cleared from sperm. You also don’t have to worry about the produced sperm as they won’t cause any harm and are safely absorbed by the body.
Read Also: Male Infertility Treatment
Deciding for a vasectomy at any age requires better understanding of the consequences after the procedure. If you changed your mind about having a child and you’ve had vasectomy before, the only way you can have children is to have artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. You can also have your sperm stored in a sperm bank. However, all these procedures are expensive and shouldn’t be relied on to bring about a successful pregnancy.