How does a vasectomy procedure work?
A vasectomy is considered a permanent method of birth control. A vasectomy procedure prevents the release of sperm when a man ejaculates. During a vasectomy the vas deferens from each testicle is clamped, cut, or otherwise sealed. This prevents sperm from mixing with the semen that is ejaculated from the penis. An egg cannot be fertilized when there are no sperm in the semen. The testicles continue to produce sperm, but the sperm are reabsorbed by the body. This also happens to sperm that are not ejaculated after a while, regardless of whether you have had a vasectomy. Because the tubes are blocked before the seminal vesicles and prostate , you still ejaculate about the same amount of fluid.
It usually takes several months after a vasectomy procedure for all remaining sperm to be ejaculated or reabsorbed. You must use another method of birth control until you have a semen sample tested and it shows a zero sperm count. Otherwise, you can still get your partner pregnant.
Procedure wise, during a vasectomy procedure:
• Your testicles and scrotum are cleaned with an antiseptic and possibly shaved.
• You may be given an oral or intravenous (IV) medicine to reduce anxiety and make you sleepy. If you do take this medicine, you may not remember much about the procedure.
• Each vas deferens is located by touch.
• A local anesthetic is injected into the area.
• Your doctor makes one or two small openings in your scrotum. Through an opening, the two vas deferens tubes are cut. The two ends of the vas deferens are tied, stitched, or sealed. Electrocautery may be used to seal the ends with heat. Scar tissue from the surgery helps block the tubes.
• The vas deferens is then replaced inside the scrotum and the skin is closed with stitches that dissolve and do not have to be removed.
The procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes and can be done in an office or clinic. It may be done by a family medicine doctor, a urologist, or a general surgeon. No-scalpel vasectomy is a technique that uses a small clamp with pointed ends. Instead of using a scalpel to cut the skin, the clamp is poked through the skin of the scrotum and then opened. The benefits of this procedure include less bleeding, a smaller hole in the skin, and fewer complications. No-scalpel vasectomy is as effective as traditional vasectomy.
A vasectomy procedure is a permanent method of birth control. Only consider this method when you are sure that you do not want to have a child in the future. Pregnancy may occur after vasectomy because of:
• Failure to use another birth control method until the sperm count is confirmed to be zero. It usually takes 10 to 20 ejaculations to completely clear sperm from the semen.
• Spontaneous reconnection of a vas deferens or an opening in one end that allows sperm to mix with the semen again. This is very rare.
The risk of complications after a vasectomy is very low. Complications may include:
• Bleeding under the skin, which may cause swelling or bruising.
• Infection at the site of the incision. In rare instances, an infection develops inside the scrotum.
• Sperm leaking from a vas deferens into the tissue around it and forming a small lump (sperm granuloma). This condition is usually not painful, and it can be treated with rest and pain medicine. Surgery may be needed to remove the granuloma.
• Inflammation of the tubes that move sperm from the testicles (congestive epididymitis).
• In rare cases, the vas deferens growing back together (recanalization) so the man becomes fertile again.