Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed in the doctor's office or hospital with the patient under a local anesthetic. It involves cutting the tiny duct that carries sperm (vas deferens) in the scrotum. The surgery takes approximately 30 minutes and involves making small incisions on each side of the scrotum. The sperm duct (vas deferens) is then cut and sealed. To reduce the possibility that the cut tubes may rejoin, a one-half to one-inch piece of vas deferens may be removed during the surgery. The skin incisions are so small that stitches may not be used. If stitches are used, they will dissolve by themselves.
A vasectomy is a simple, safe means for preventing unwanted pregnancy. Recovery is quick, and the patient usually can return to work in two days (over a weekend).
Sexual activity, penile sensitivity, and production of male hormones are not adversely affected. In fact, the freedom from fear of producing unwanted children may greatly improve the mutual enjoyment in your sexual relations. You may find that your desire for sexual expression becomes more spontaneous and more frequent.
Alternate Methods of Preventing Pregnancy
If your objective is merely to space pregnancies, or if you have even the slightest reason to believe that you might want to have children in the future, then a vasectomy will not suit your purpose and should not be considered.
Other Methods of Birth Control
- Oral contraceptive (the pill)
- Intrauterine device
- Aerosol contraceptive foam
- Contraceptive cream and jellies