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The What Guide About Vasectomy - After All, You Need to Know But Are Too Scared To Ask!

Updated on March 13, 2015

Most men who consider a vasectomy are thinking of this for the first time.  However, there are more and more men who, after going through it the first time, will happily opt to do this again.  Vasectomy after reversal is still an option for them because the reasons that were valid prior to the vasectomy reversal may still be applicable today.  The vasectomy procedure, therefore, is still the same for men who require a vasectomy reversing operation.  In this article I hope to explain all you need to know about vasectomy effects and what to expect during and after surgery.  I hope that I will be able to alleviate fears surrounding sperm production after vasectomy, concerns after the surgery and unfounded rumours over painful intercourse.  

This rough guide to vasectomy will tell you everything you need to know but are too scared to ask!  This article outlines the following:

  • Why have a vasectomy?
  • Vasectomy – What to Expect From Surgery
  • Does the Vasectomy Affect The Sex Drive After Surgery?
  • Will it really hurt?
  • When Is It Safe To Make Love without Protection?
  • The Vasectomy Before, During & After – I Did It, Why Don’t You?

Why Not Have A Vasectomy?!

Why Have A Vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a form of male sterilisation that is an effective form of birth control. Compared to hysterectomy, or female sterilisation, it is a less intrusive form of surgery. It is ideally suited to couples that have had children and feel that they don’t want to continue with more.

A counselling session is given to the couple to ascertain reasons why, if they are ready and the implications to their lives should the need arise to have more children. It is highlighted the stress that might be incurred should one of their children die, for example, and the inevitable change in their situation may warrant a reversal.

This is obviously very difficult, once the procedure is performed, and a reversal has a good chance of not working at all. The decision making process is necessary to give couples an informed choice. They are both, therefore, assessed for the surgical procedure, although it is the man who has the operation. The couple need to know that this is probably a permanent form of contraception with minimal chance of a reversal.

The couple need to be 100% sure that this is the right contraception method for them and ascertain that their relationship is stable enough to go down this route. There are always concerns from the medical profession about whether the relationship will survive in the future. The medical practitioner has to be sure, just like the couple concerned, that there will be no regrets should a partner in the future wish to have children with the sterile man. For this reason, there is often an age assessment.

Just In Case You Want More Kids - Have You Thought Of Cryostorage? Freeze That Sperm!

Some men opt to have some of their sperm frozen.  This is called cryostorage.  It is a way storing the sperm and acts as ‘a sort of insurance policy’ just in case there is a change of mind after the vasectomy.  Harvesting sperm and, storing in this way, is an alternative to a vasectomy reversal should the need arise to wish to procreate more children.  The sperm is then used for artificial insemination.  This has been commonly termed as a process known as making ‘test tube babies’.  The embryos are created in a laboratory environment.

Be Realistic About The Future! Vasectomy Reversing Surgery May Lead to Ligation Failure

It is important, therefore, to truly consider the possibility that one day a man might change his mind and decide to reverse the vasectomy. Cyrostorage is a realistic option should this be the case. It is also worth considering vasectomy reversing has its own risks attached, like ligation failure (when the tubes are too damaged to be repaired). If you want to read more on vasectomy reversal, please click here.

Vasectomy – What to Expect during surgery

Under the combination of local anaesthetic and tranquillisers, two small incisions are made in the vas deferens – see pictures – via the scrotum.  These tubes are tied so as the sperm can no longer enter the seminal fluid.  Other ways of sealing these tubes are by using methods associated with burning, stitching or clamping.  This is nothing to worry about because the scrotum is numbed with the local anaesthetic and no pain can be felt.  Any potential emotional tumour can neither be felt because the tranquillisers work effectively enough to put him in a dream state.

There are also other methods available, such as keyhole surgery, where instead of using a scalpel, a haemostat is used.   This is a sharp scissor type instrument that has a special tip at the end, which help to perform the tye function.  This procedure is thought to be less evasive than the first and, therefore reduces the healing time.

Vas Clip Method of Surgery - Better For Healing, Better For Vasectomy Reversal

The clipping of the tubes, or Vas Clip method, is the best method after the operation in terms of healing and pain management. Also, those that decide to have a reversal are also most likely to be successful if this procedure is adopted. However, the downside is that this method has the lowest success rates out of all the aforementioned.

So, to re-cap, there are four forms of surgery

  • Cauterisation or burning the tubes to seal
  • Tied
  • Stitching the tubes
  • Clamping the tubes with ‘Vas Clip’

There isn’t much pain during surgery because of the use of

  • Tranquillisers
  • Local Anaesthetic

Does the Vasectomy Affect The Sex Drive After Surgery? Will Intercourse be Painful?

Most men don’t have a decline in the desire to have sex.  It appears from studies that it is only up to 20% who appear to have a decline in desire and, although sperm accounts for 10% in fluid volume, there is no difference to appearance and texture. 

Most men don’t find intercourse painful and can generally ejaculate within a few days after the operation. The ejaculation seems to be the same in every way as prior to the surgery, except with the decline of sperm production that takes approximately 20 ejaculations (approximately 3 months) before you are sterile.

Post Surgical Procedure - Will It Really Hurt?

Of course during the healing process there is a level of discomfort.  There will be:

  • Temporary Bruising
  • Some Bleeding
  • Itching around the incision site

There will be some small scars after the surgery on the scrotum, but nothing that would be of concern. 

A small percentage of men have reported intercourse as painful, amongst other sexual activity., but is rare.  However, any pain experienced can subside in time. 

There are small proportion of men suffer with Post Vasectomy Pain Syndrome.  This is chronic pain in the scrotum and the testicles during physical activity, sexual intercourse and ejaculation.  Should this occur, a vasectomy reversal could be considered to correct this condition, although there is a good risk that this might not work.

Vasectomy - What Are The Side Effects?

Some men may feel depressed after the surgical procedure.  They might mourn the loss of their fertility and ‘manhood’.  A small minority may, therefore, regret the vasectomy.  Some even keep the vasectomy secret from friends and family.  This could be because they don’t want to be ridiculed by people and judged as no longer manly.  However, to put this into perspective, most men are happy with the procedure, the decision and have very little side effects.  Most just suffer the usual discomfort of the healing process.

The healing process takes up to two weeks to get over.  Movement is very difficult for the first 24 to 48 hours but after the swelling subsides so does the discomfort.  The incisions are very small and there will be very little scaring which, in time, becomes nothing more than two small hairline marks.

To limit the risk of infection, men should keep themselves clean with antiseptic solution and creams.  Always apply with sterile gloves on to avoid cross contamination.  Bathing is good but ensure that you do not use soap and flannel on the wound.  You do not want to introduce anything into the wound that may cause infection.

After about 5 or more days, when you feel the urge, you will be able to attempt ejaculation.  Don’t feel pressured into this action just let it happen naturally.  As time goes on you will feel more confident to resume lovemaking.  Be sure to use protection until the Doctor gives you the all clear later.

Make Love Without Fear
Make Love Without Fear

Vasectomy – Getting Pregnant. When Is It Safe To Make Love without Protection?

Being worried about pregnancy after the vasectomy is a normal concern.  So once you have had the vasectomy, what the possibilities of women getting pregnant?  Here I want to reassure you of the possibilities of this happening. 

It is only after about 20 ejaculations (approximately 3 months) that the sperm becomes eradicated from the seamen.  You will need to use a reliable method of birth control until this time.  It is advisable, therefore, to have a test performed to see if sperm is still present in the semen. 

You will need to provide a sample for analysis.  The absence of sperm is checked for in the semen.  Once this has been observed, you will be given the all clear.  This will enable you to make love without the fear of pregnancy.  The vasectomy or ligation failure rate is very small, around 0.2 – 2%, so it is always worth while having the test to be sure that the vasectomy has worked.

Vasectomy - Getting Pregnant. Wait Until The All Clear!

Just because you are now sterile doesn't mean you can't get an S.T.D.!

So you thought you would never see a condom again, eh?  Let me put the record straight if you are not in a monogamous relationship...

  • Without protection you can still contract a Sexually Transmitted Disease or S.T.D.  Just because you are sterilized against pregnancy, doesn’t mean you are sterilized against these awful diseases, so if in doubt – where a condom!

The Vasectomy Before, During & After – I Did It, Why Don’t You?

This is a true-life account from my husband. The experience has been very positive for both of us. However, it was he and not I who had to go through the process and procedure. We both thought, therefore, it would be a good thing to share his experience, particularly for those in doubt.

I asked him if he could frankly tell me how he felt before, during and after the process of the vasectomy and what it entailed. He agreed and you can read this by clicking here.

A Rough Guide to Vasectomy - An Informed Choice. Has This Article Answered Everything You Needed to Know?

In this rough guide to vasectomy I have covered many issues around vasectomy. This includes what to expect from surgery, aftercare surgery and the vasectomy effects on intercourse. I hope that I have helped alleviate concerns surrounding any impending onoperati and provided you with an informed choice. I have also touched on vasectomy after reversal, although this has been brief, it is very much similar to what I have described in this article. This is only a rough guide to vasectomy and each patient needs to be individually assessed by a medical practitioner for suitability, but I hope that has formed the basis to the right decision for you.

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

Did this article answer everything you needed to know? Please feel free to leave a comment and spend a moment to leave feedback..

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    • profile image

      dave 4 years ago

      Had a vasectomy 3 months ago. Continual discomfort or pain ever since. My health has been in the toilet ever since, infections, dizziness, dental absess, ear infections, vertigo. It has ruined my life and my family life. I was hammering out 60 hour weeks before, now I'll be lucky if my ill health does not get me fired.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

      dive_man - Thank you for highlighting this. I am, indeed, grateful. I am glad you have provided a counter-view for the readers and you are valued in your male perspective. You have a good point.

      It is easy, for a female, to 'paper over' this.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

      Vasectomy reversal - thank you for highlighting this.

    • profile image

      diveman_10 6 years ago

      "Most men don’t have a decline in the desire to have sex. It appears from studies that it is only up to 20% who appear to have a decline in desire". Not sure where the idea of most men do not have a decline in sex drive when 1 in 5 do. That is not a small number. That is quite high in fact. Low single digits would "imply" not significant numbers. I have an almost nonexistent sex drive after my vasectomy. Not the results I wanted considering why I had a vasectomy. I just feel from a male perspective that your statement is misleading.

    • profile image

      Vasectomy reversal 6 years ago

      Men who undergo vasectomy probably expect it to be a foolproof method of birth control. While this is true in most cases, a vasectomy can sometimes fail for a variety of reasons. In one percent of cases, the severed vas deferens (the two tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis) rejoins itself.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Dallas93444 - good to see another positive recommendation:)

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Been there, done that. No problems!

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Thanks sexed.,.. I will try to ... keep it up x

    • sexeducationnow profile image

      sexeducationnow 8 years ago

      INFORMATIVE !!! keep it up. and i will keep coming back :)

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Hmrjmr1 - Im glad you have come out of the closet and told the world that it is nothing to worry about - you might be helping some poor scared unknown other. Thank you for commenting and inspiring strength in others xx

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Shaz- Did this way back when, as my Zena and I were a baby factory and she had a hard time with other BC methods, so a steer I became, Doc told me though that a reversal would not be possible as he did the surgery in such a way to prevent reattachment. No issues with me.

      Never had an issue with it and no side effects (especially libido) in fact may well have enhanced Zenas cause we knew no preg possible..

      Highly recommend it if you think you need it! Good Hub Gal