Urology Blog

Do You Have the Wrong Idea About the Vasectomy Procedure?

Vasectomy, men's health and well-being.Having a vasectomy is a big decision. Even when you are sure you do not want to expand your family any further, you may hesitate to schedule an appointment with a urologist. Here, we discuss some of the common misperceptions that keep men from taking that step into long-term birth control. If any of them sound like the thoughts that swirl through your mind, you will gain insight to help you move beyond them.

Vasectomy “surgery” is difficult and invasive.

The vasectomy procedure does involve one or two incisions, yes. But would we describe it as surgery? Not necessarily. It is an office procedure performed using an effective local anesthetic. The entire process takes less than have an hour.

A vasectomy will hurt.

Your board-certified urologist understands the delicate nature of the vasectomy procedure. Our specialists are compassionate and respectful of each patient’s valid stress related to having a vasectomy, and they take precautions to ensure the most comfortable procedure. Patients are frequently surprised at just how little discomfort they experience during their vasectomy. The doctor administers a small injection to numb the area, after which the treatment site is numb to sensation.

Vasectomy recovery is difficult and painful.

Again, patients are often surprised at the ease with which they can recover from their vasectomy. Patients are encouraged to take over-the-counter pain relief medication as directed for a day or two following their procedure. It is beneficial to rest for a couple of days and keep physical activity to a minimum. Patients who have their vasectomies on a Friday are usually able to return to work on Monday.

A vasectomy will diminish sex drive and sexual pleasure.

The vasectomy procedure is very localized. It only prevents the transfer of sperm from the testicles through the vas deferens. Hormone production is unaffected by vasectomy, and it is hormone production that influences sex drive. The vasectomy does not alter libido, physical sensation, sexual performance, or a man’s ability to get and maintain an erection. Furthermore, the enjoyment of sexual intercourse may actually improve after the vasectomy because worry about an unplanned pregnancy is gone.

Pregnancy can still occur after a vasectomy.

This is only a partial misconception. Patients should understand that, after a vasectomy, it can take approximately 20 ejaculations (and several weeks) for all sperm to exit the passageway from the testicles to the penis. Until follow-up tests confirm the absence of sperm, patients should avoid unprotected sexual intercourse. Stories of vasectomy failure most often relate to having unprotected sex too soon after the procedure.

A vasectomy is permanent.

Some men may hesitate to get a vasectomy because they want to retain the option of having more children in the future. With advances in surgical techniques and an abundance of research, it has been determined that a vasectomy is a reversible procedure. While there may be some limitations in terms of the timing and efficacy of vasectomy reversal, many men who have the procedure are able to father children.

The truth about the vasectomy procedure is that it is simple, convenient, effective but reversible, and only moderately uncomfortable during a short recovery period. If you would like to gain freedom through this procedure, contact our primary Chattanooga urology practice at (423) 778-5910. Satellite offices can be reached here.

Your Vasectomy: Before, During, and After

Vasectomy Chattanooga TNUndergoing a vasectomy can be a life-changing decision. It is one that must be made with considerable forethought. Once a man decides that this procedure is the best method of birth control for himself and his partner, his questions may revolve more around what to expect than how the procedure will ultimately affect his life. The bigger picture is already understood. Now it’s time for the smaller details, like what happens before, during, and after the vasectomy. We’ll discuss that here.

Before Vasectomy Surgery

Vasectomies are performed as outpatient procedures. Patients do not require general anesthesia and do not stay overnight in the hospital. This limits the steps that need to be taken before the procedure. Patients should:

  • Stop smoking as soon as possible when considering a vasectomy. Smoking inhibits healing.
  • Avoid medications and supplements that can thin the blood. Examples include aspirin and ibuprofen. Tell the doctor all medications that are being taken, prescription and over-the-counter.
  • Arrange a ride home after the vasectomy.
  • Shower and clean the genital area the night before surgery or day of the procedure.

The Vasectomy Procedure

Patients may recline or lie down during their vasectomy. A local anesthetic is injected into the scrotum to numb nerve-endings so no pain is felt. After the area is numb, the surgeon creates a small opening on one side of the scrotum. The vas deferens is lifted to the opening, where to tube is cut and sealed. It is then put back into place. The same steps are repeated on the opposite side of the scrotum. If necessary, stitches are placed to close the tiny incisions.

After Surgery

Patients expect discomfort after a vasectomy. However, the pain is not usually as significant as anticipated. Ice packs can be applied to the scrotum (with a thin towel against the skin) for short periods to relieve discomfort and swelling. Patients may prefer to recline or lie down as much as possible for a day or two after the procedure. The surgical team will discuss what pain medications can be taken to control comfort.

Within a week to 10 days, most patients can go back to work. Strenuous activity and exercise may resume about two weeks after surgery. Sexual activity can resume one week after surgery, but the vasectomy should not be relied upon as the sole form of birth control until the doctor confirms the absence of sperm in the semen.

Schedule a vasectomy consultation in our Chattanooga office at (423) 778-5910.

What To Expect After Your Vasectomy

Vasectomy Chattanooga TNApproximately half a million men in our country undergo vasectomy treatment each year. This form of long-term birth control may be very common but that doesn’t mean it is an easy decision to make. Many men think about a vasectomy for years before making their final decision. In many cases, it’s not the question of permanence that stops them, it’s questions about what to expect after this procedure.

Understandably, there will be apprehension about choosing to have a delicate area of the body operated on. Many stories have been passed around about the aftermath of a vasectomy, which doesn’t help matters. Here, we want to clear up any misconceptions you may have about what it’s like to have a vasectomy. The more you know, the more peace of mind you can have about this advantageous procedure.

Vasectomy Recovery Timeline

Initial Recovery

Vasectomies are performed as an outpatient procedure. It is possible to drive yourself home or have a loved one drive you to and from your appointment. We recommend going straight home after the procedure and committing the remainder of the day to rest. We may prescribe pain medication to use as directed for a few days. During this time, you may want to stay home and stay off your feet as much as possible. Rest supports the healing process and reduces the severity and duration of post-operative swelling. An ice pack may also be applied for approximately 20 minutes, several times a day. A cloth should be placed between the ice pack and the skin.

Making Progress

During the first few weeks of vasectomy recovery, many men feel more comfortable with a little extra support. An athletic supporter, bike shorts with compression, or other garments that fit more tightly can create a sense of security around the healing scrotum.

Exercise is clearly off-limits, and it is important to also remember that “heavy lifting” includes anything that weighs more than a gallon of mild. If as healing progresses and physical strength improves, lifting is a no-no, as are exercises such as squats and crunches. After about two weeks of recovery, most activities can be resumed, so be patient with your body as it recovers.

What about sex?

This is a common question we hear from our vasectomy patients. Usually, patients can resume sexual intercourse about a week after their vasectomy. It is important to keep in mind, though, that sperm may remain in the vas deferens for several months, which means pregnancy can still occur. A reliable method of birth control should be used until we have confirmed sterilization.

Get the facts about vasectomy treatment in our Chattanooga office. Call (423) 778-5910 to schedule a consultation.

Could a Vasectomy Affect Your Sex Life?

Vasectomy Chattanooga, TNUndergoing a vasectomy is an enormously personal decision for every man who considers this permanent form of pregnancy prevention. The benefits of the procedure are clear. What isn’t clear to many potential patients is how having a vasectomy may affect their sex life. Will orgasm change after a vasectomy? Erection or ejaculation? We answer these questions here.

Ejaculation after Vasectomy

A vasectomy stops sperm, not semen. The procedure modifies the vas deferens, the small tube that transports sperm into the ejaculatory ducts, where semen passes through after production in the seminal vesicles. Not only does a vasectomy leave semen production intact, but it also does not change the characteristics of the ejaculate other than to eliminate sperm. Semen output should remain the same in terms of quantity, consistency, and color.

Orgasm after Vasectomy

There is an old myth that a man who has had a vasectomy may find it more difficult to reach orgasm. This is a complete myth. Sexual climax is the result of physical and psychological stimuli during intercourse and does not rely on sperm nor the vas deferens for optimization. Some studies even suggest that men report better orgasms after their vasectomy.

About Libido

The 2017 study conducted among 294 couples in Germany revealed numerous facts about the effects of vasectomy on sexual wellness. Contrary to misconceptions, a man who has a vasectomy is not “less manly,” nor do they feel that way, according to the study. In fact, many of the men who participated in the study revealed that they had more sex after their vasectomy, as well as better erectile function and generally improved sexual satisfaction.

At the time of the study, the Guttmacher Institute for family planning research noted that only 8 percent of contraception in the United States fell into the vasectomy category. This is despite the high success rate (only 15 to 20 accidental pregnancies for 10,000 men) and low risk associated with vasectomy.

What Works for You?

Every situation is unique. We prioritize education among our patients and helping them overcome obstacles that relate to misperceptions about vasectomy treatment and how it may affect quality of life. If you’re ready to learn more, contact our Chattanooga office at (423) 778-5910.

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