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Vasectomy Quick Facts

What is vasectomy? Vasectomy or male sterilization is a widely-spread and highly-effective form of birth control. About half a million of men undergo vasectomy each year and the failure rate of this contraceptive method is only about 0.2%.

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure, during which the small tubes, that transport sperm cells from testicles to the penis, are cut and sealed or tied. As a result, a man becomes permanently unable to father children, because his ejaculate fluid does not contain sperm any more. Instead of being transported from testicles into the penis and then into woman’s vagina to meet the egg, male sperm stays in the testicles, where it is absorbed by the body.

There is an interesting comparison of vasectomy to a river, from which all the fish was caught out. There is no fish any more, though the water continues to flow.

Who should consider vasectomy? Since vasectomy is a permanent and irreversible method of contraception, men, deciding to undergo the procedure, should be absolutely confident that they do not want to have children in future, even if their family situation changes.

The appropriate candidate for vasectomy is a man, who understands that his family is complete and there is no the slightest chance for him to regret about his decision in future.

How is vasectomy performed? Vasectomy is a simple operation, performed under the local anesthesia to make the procedure painless. Usually it takes 20-30 minutes for a surgeon to perform it.

There are two methods of vasectomy, commonly used nowadays. The traditional operation is performed by making small incisions on the scrotum to get to the tubes (vas deferens), going from each testicle. Then a surgeon cuts both tubes and either seals tube endings or ties them. Finally, the incisions are closed with small stitches. The recovery period after vasectomy is rather short; therefore, in 2 or 3 days a man can return to work. Sexual relationships can be resumed in one week in most cases.

Another technique of vasectomy was invented in China in 1970th and now it is widely used worldwide. This method is called “no-scalpel”, because instead of incisions a doctor makes punctures in the scrotum and uses specially-designed instruments to cut and tie the tubes. The advantage of this method is that it is less traumatic and less painful; consequently, the recovery time is shorter in comparison to the traditional vasectomy.

Considering pros and cons of vasectomy Making a decision to undergo vasectomy is a very serious step in man’s life. It is very important to evaluate carefully all the pros and cons of this procedure.

The undeniable advantage of vasectomy is that this quite a simple one-time operation allows to forget about all the other birth control methods and to be 100% sure of its effectiveness. The result of vasectomy is permanent, so the problem of birth control does not arise again in some period of time.

On the other hand, irreversibility of vasectomy is also claimed to be its major disadvantage. Sometimes, under the influence of certain factors, such as divorce, death of a child, changing a partner, a man may want to have children, which is impossible after vasectomy. In spite of the fact, that there were some efforts to resume male fertility after vasectomy (the operation is called vasovasostomy), the results of such procedures were not sufficiently effective. Firstly, the reversal of vasectomy is much more complicated in comparison to vasectomy itself. Secondly, clinical researches show that even in case of successful operation on repairing vas deferens, only 50% of patients will be able to father children.

Besides, vasectomy does not protect from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

To sum it up, vasectomy nowadays should be considered as a permanent and irreversible method of birth control, and men should consider this fact very carefully.

Myths on vasectomy The use of vasectomy has been limited due to certain fears among people. Though, modern scientific research shows that all those fears are nothing but myths.

Myth – vasectomy decreases sex drive or satisfaction from sexual intercourse.

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Truth – vasectomy does not interfere with sex drive or level of sexual satisfaction.

Myth – vasectomy makes men look more feminine. Truth – vasectomy cannot make a man look or feel more like a woman, neither can it increase the pitch of the voice.

Myth – after vasectomy man cannot have erections and ejaculations. Truth – the ability of penis to erect remains after vasectomy, a man leads usual sexual life with erections and ejaculations, the only difference is that his ejaculated fluid does not contain sperm, which can fertilize women.

Myth – vasectomy increases the risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular diseases in men. Truth – multiple studies of World Health Organization and National Institute of Health show that vasectomy does not increase the risk of autoimmune diseases, prostate or testicular cancers, or cardiovascular diseases.


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