Also known as male sterilization, a vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure in which the tubes (vas deferens) that sperm pass through during ejaculation are cut or blocked. It does not interfere with your ability to ejaculate or have sexual intercourse. Instead, a vasectomy prevents sperm from mixing with your semen and possibly impregnating your partner. Your testes continue to make sperm as they normally would, but the unused sperm eventually die and are reabsorbed by your body.
A vasectomy will not protect you from sexually-transmitted infections, but unlike many birth control methods, it’s a one-time procedure that essentially eliminates concerns over future pregnancies.
Compared to other methods of contraception, the failure rate of vasectomy is very low. It does take several weeks for active sperm to clear completely from your semen, and an alternative form of birth control is necessary for a time. Dr. Coutinho typically checks a sperm count at two months and then three months after the procedure to ensure your vasectomy’s success.
A vasectomy is generally much less expensive than female sterilization, has a shorter recovery time, carries fewer risks of complications, and does not require hospitalization. It’s a safe procedure that millions of men in the United States undergo every year.
Dr. Coutinho discusses the procedure and recovery expectations in detail before scheduling your vasectomy. Generally, however, he uses local anesthesia to numb the area and then locates the vas deferens under the skin of your scrotum. He then uses a specially designed instrument to puncture the skin and then cut and tie the vas deferens.
Some patients note a slight tugging sensation during the procedure, but it’s otherwise painless and quick, generally taking less than 20 minutes to complete. The tiny incision does not require stitches and only produces minimal, if any, bleeding.
You may experience mild discomfort and slight bruising after the procedure that typically fades within a day or two. Most men return to routine daily activities after 24 hours and completely recover within a week.
If you’re considering a vasectomy for permanent contraception, call the office for an appointment or book your visit online.
Dr. Karl Coutinho is considered an in-network provider with the following insurance plans. This is not a complete list, if you do not see your plan listed please contact our office to verify your benefits.