5 frequently asked questions about vasectomies

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5 frequently asked questions about vasectomies

A vasectomy is a fairly simple and really quick procedure. In fact, you can go home right after the surgery. Most vasectomies are performed in a physician’s office and take about 30-40 minutes. You will, however, need to rest for a couple of days after getting the procedure. 

Many of you may have several questions about getting a vasectomy, such as “How painful is it?” or “What is the recovery time?” In this article, we will answer some of these questions to serve as a guide for you before you undergo the procedure.

Does getting a vasectomy hurt?

Vasectomies are mostly painless as doctors will usually make the procedure as comfortable for you as possible. They will provide you with local anesthesia to numb the testicles, so you wouldn’t be able to feel much pain. The anesthetic is injected under the skin (not into the testicle) using a very small needle or a jet injector (“puff of air”). You may also get medicine that will help you relax. You may, however, feel a slight brief sting when the anesthesia is being administered or when the vas deferens (tubes that connect to the testis) are handled during the procedure. Only the area around the vas deferens becomes numb. Overall, you shouldn’t feel too much pain.

There are two types of vasectomies: one that requires an incision (a cut in your skin) and one that’s incision-free (no-scalpel or no-cut). You can talk to your doctor about which procedure best applies to you or which one you would prefer. 

What happens during an incision vasectomy?

During an incision vasectomy, the surgeon makes one or two small cuts in the skin of your scrotum. Through these cuts, the tubes that carry sperm (vas deferens) are blocked off. Sometimes, a tiny part of each tube is removed (up to about 1 cm). The tubes may be tied, blocked with surgical clips or closed with an electrical current (this is called cauterizing). The whole procedure on one side takes about 20 minutes, and then the cut is stitched up. Once the procedure is complete on one vas deferens, the other side is treated. Often, the second vas deferens can be treated through the same initial puncture or incision.

What happens during a no-scalpel vasectomy?

The no-scalpel technique (also called no-cut, no-incision or keyhole vasectomy) does not require sutures. The doctor makes one tiny puncture to reach both vas deferens tubes. The skin of your scrotum will not be cut with a scalpel, but instead with a hemostat, a special type of surgical forceps with sharp tips. The vas deferens tubes are then tied off, cauterized, or blocked. The small puncture heals quickly on its own. This procedure does not need stitching, so there’s no scarring afterwards. The no-scalpel method reduces bleeding and lowers the risk of infection, bruising and other complications.

How painful is a vasectomy?

You may feel slight discomfort after the surgery, but you shouldn’t feel tremendous pain. You can go home and rest right after getting a vasectomy, and you may also have some bruising or swelling for a couple of days. Your doctor will recommend that you wear tight underwear or an athletic supporter (jock strap) to hold the bandage in place and apply pressure to the scrotum. You may also be recommended over-the-counter pain medication, and icing the genitals to help you ease any pain. You should not bathe or swim for 24-48 hours after the procedure. Most importantly, do not do any heavy physical work or exercise for a week after your vasectomy.

However, if you feel any of the following symptoms following your vasectomy, immediately call your doctor: 

  • A fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Blood or pus coming from the where the cut was made in your scrotum
  • Lots of pain or swelling in your scrotum or testicle area

These signs could mean you have an infection and you may need antibiotics.

How soon can I have sex after my vasectomy? 

Most people only need to rest for a few days after their vasectomy. If your job is physically demanding, it is highly recommended that you take about a week off from work.

Usually, you can start having sex again about a few days to a week after your vasectomy. Some cases require patients to wait longer. If you feel that having sex is uncomfortable, wait a few more days. 

You must also remember that vasectomies won’t prevent pregnancy right away. You may need to ejaculate at least 20 times to clear the ducts of sperm. In about three months after your vasectomy, you will need to follow up with your doctor. Your doctor will test your semen and tell you if the sperm are gone and the vasectomy is working as intended as birth control. To collect a semen sample, they will ask you to masturbate into a cup or use a special condom when you have sex. Until your doctor says there’s no sperm in your semen, you still need to use condoms or another forms of birth control during vaginal sex.

Got a question, or anything I can help with? My name is Steve Stretton, and I’m the owner and manager at Gelpacks.com. You can drop me a line here. Good luck!

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