Vasectomy Risks and Benefits

Couples that are done having children may opt for a more permanent birth control. The vasectomy is one of the most popular forms of contraception used. More than 500,000 men have the procedure done every year. It’s easy, effective and less expensive compared to a tubal ligation for women. Tying a woman’s fallopian tubes are more invasive, have higher risks and there is a longer recovery time.

There are two main approaches to doing a vasectomy. The no scalpel method has a quicker recovery time and less chance of infection. Only a couple of small incisions are made and 50% of doctors prefer this method over the traditional one.

The vasectomy procedure involves the cutting of the vas deferens tube that transfers sperm from testicles to semen. It’s a quick procedure that takes under 15 minutes. Recovery time is about 2 to 3 days. You won’t be able to do any heavy lifting; you may have some swelling and pain. You should be back to normal in about 2 weeks.

Vasectomies are not immediately effective. It will take up to eight weeks and many ejaculations, 15 to 20, before the sperm is out of the semen. You should use other contraceptive protection until the doctor
gives the green light that the semen is clear of sperm. You will continue to make reproductive cells but they will be absorbed into the body.

Benefits of having a vasectomy are that you have less concern about unwanted pregnancies. The vasectomy has a 1% failure rate, making it the most effective contraception method. Another benefit is that you can be more spontaneous in the bedroom. You don’t have to stop and mess with birth control, and a vasectomy should not hinder sexual performance in any way. The $400.00 to $1200.00 costs for the procedure are usually covered by insurance companies.

Some of the risks are that you can continue to suffer from pain after the vasectomy. This is caused by pressure on the epididymis, which can cause inflammation in the scrotum. Pain relievers, alpha blockers and antibiotics can help or in severe cases, removal of epididymis might be indicated.
The vas deferens can grow back together increasing risk of pregnancy; although this happens in less than 1% of patients. Infection is also possible and fluid can accumulate.

Some studies have shown that vasectomies done over 2 decades ago, might slightly increase the risk for prostate cancer. A more recent study refutes that. In another study, antibodies to sperm were found to develop after a vasectomy. Proteins in the brain have similarities to proteins in sperm and this could cause an autoimmune reaction resulting in damaged brain cells. More research needs to be done to determine if there is a link between Alzheimer’s and vasectomies.

If you change your mind and want to have your vasectomy reversed, it is possible. About 50,000 men have a change of heart every year. The success rate can be as high as 97% ,if you do it within a short time after the vasectomy. The more years you wait, the lower the rate of success.

Vasectomies are more or less a permanent form of birth control and are a great alternative to the other contraceptive products on the market. It’s a procedure that will give you peace-of-mind, so you won’t have to worry about accidental pregnancies.