A- What is a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure under local anesthesia that lasts about ten minutes and leads to definitive male sterilization. It is often used as a definitive contraceptive method. Vasectomy can be performed on both humans and male animals. It’s no longer taboo these days, at least in Canada.
However, vasectomy and castration should not be confused. Indeed, the later involves the removal of the testicles.
B- What does vasectomy consist of?
The procedure involves cutting the two vas deferens to prevent sperm from traveling from the testes to the penis and fertilizing the egg. Vasectomy does not prevent ejaculation as the semen no longer contains sperm and does not interfere with sexuality.
C- What are the types of vasectomy?
There are two types of vasectomy: classic vasectomy, and painless, no-scalpel vasectomy.
1. Classical or incisional vasectomy
Incisional vasectomy is a simple but definitive surgical operation performed by a qualified urological surgeon under local anesthesia to numb. It consists of cutting and blocking the vas deferens. The surgeon makes a 2-3 cm incision on each side of the scrotum, removes and then cuts each of the vas deferens, blocks the ends by cauterization, ligation, or using surgical clips, and closes both ends of each canal. In this way, the vas deferens is cut in half. In the end, the surgeon closes the cut.
What are the side effects of a classic vasectomy?
In general, classical vasectomy is well tolerated by patients although there may be a few mild side effects. Here are a few:
- pain in the scrotum and testicles, especially after surgery.
- bruising and inflammation of the testicles
- edema at the intervention site
- infection at the site of the operation
Some rare side effects can occur. These could be more or less serious complications such as:
- bleeding with the possibility of hemorrhage under the skin of the scrotum
- inflammation of the epididymis
- an often painful post-vasectomy syndrome
2. Vasectomy without scalpel
It is performed through a tiny opening in the skin of the scrotum and then proceeds in the same way as classic vasectomy, but without an incision. This technique is very convenient since it has fewer side effects than a classic vasectomy.
C- What happens after the vasectomy?
The patient can return home immediately after the vasectomy. Pain can be relieved by applying ice or taking pain relievers. For a week, sexual intercourse, as well as physical efforts, are not recommended.
It is important to note that the individual is not yet sterile since there are still active sperm present in the vas deferens for up to three months after the vasectomy. This is why it is advisable during this period to resort to safe sex.
It is therefore necessary to do semen analysis to be sure that there are no more traces of sperm in the semen.
Vasectomy does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or against HIV (AIDS).
D- What are the results of the vasectomy?
- The effectiveness rate of vasectomy is estimated to be nearly 99.85%.
- In 2.5% of cases, the vas deferens are welded together during the first three days following vasectomy.
E- Am I a good candidate for vasectomy?
Vasectomy is not a temporary method of birth control. You should not use it if:
- your decision not to want more children is not yet certain;
- you have local infections;
- you have a local genital anomaly;
- you suffer from sexual dysfunction;
- you have general health problems.
For couples, vasectomy is a permanent choice that should be discussed together.
It is important to see a doctor or urologist before having a vasectomy to make sure you are a good candidate for this surgery.
F- Is vasectomy reversible?
Usually, a vasectomy is irreversible, although in some cases it is possible to reverse it. But the success of such an enterprise is only about 30% to 40%. This is why it is important to understand that once you have opted for a vasectomy, you will not be able to turn back.
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