The long-term effects of a vasectomy: Life-changing, not a life sentence

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The long-term effects of a vasectomy: Life-changing, not a life sentence

Here’s a “fun fact” about a vasectomy: They say that the operation takes roughly 30 minutes, and you’ll be home in time for the game. For a life-changing procedure, half an hour is indeed quick, and this is why men and their partners alike would like to know the long-term effects of having a vasectomy.

First, let’s quickly define what a vasectomy is. A vasectomy is a permanent form of male birth control via a procedure that cuts and seals the tubes that carry sperm to the semen. Vasectomies are considered generally safe and complications are quite rare. Getting a vasectomy is a straightforward outpatient procedure. Every year, about 500,000 men in the United States undergo this procedure. 

Why a vasectomy over other forms of birth control?

One of the main reasons why vasectomies are a chosen form of male birth control is it’s success. Next to abstinence, vasectomies are the most effective form of birth control. With a long-term success rate of over 99 percent, only one to two women out of a thousand get pregnant within a year of their partner’s vasectomy.

A vasectomy is also well-considered to be less expensive and safer than tubal ligation in women. When you combine the long-term cost of other birth control methods such as medication and condoms, they may come up to be more expensive than the one-time cost of a vasectomy. 

The risks of a vasectomy are low. They are usually uncomplicated and there’s only about a 2-3 percent chance of infection, bleeding and pain. 

The surgery itself is also quick and simple. The scrotum is opened and the tubes (vas deferens) are cut and sealed shut. Requiring only local anaesthetic, the whole procedure takes less than 30 minutes.

What are the effects of a vasectomy? 

Immediate effects

Right after a vasectomy, a patient can experience the following common side effects:

  • Pain, tenderness or sometimes pressure in the scrotum or pelvic area. Due to this, it is normally advised that sexual activity is to be avoided for about a week immediately after a vasectomy has been performed. 
  • Swelling, irritation, bruising and sometimes discolouration in the scrotum. This is why it is recommended for patients to use a Vasectomy Ice Pack for pain and swelling relief. 
  • Infection can occur at the site of the procedure and this may cause intense pain and swelling. When this occurs, consult your doctor immediately and they can prescribe antibiotics to combat the bacterial infection.

Long-term effects

While the risks of a vasectomy are small, it is still possible for some vasectomised men to experience long-term side effects.

  • Some experience an improved sex life. This comes as a pleasant surprise to many but this is one of the main positive long-term side effects of a vasectomy. With decreased anxiety over getting a partner unintentionally pregnant, many vasectomised men have been experiencing more carefree experiences in bed. 
  • A natural reverse vasectomy may occur. In rare but possible cases, the vas deferens (tube where the sperm passes) that were cut may naturally grow and fuse back together. This is a delayed surgical failure and the result will be that sperm may appear in a man’s semen again, making him fertile once more.
  • The American Urological Association calculates that about 1-2 percent of men who have undergone a vasectomy experience chronic scrotal pain after the procedure. This will require a follow-up surgery. This is why it’s important for men who’ve had a vasectomy to always have a Vasectomy Ice Pack handy.
  • There is a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer following a vasectomy. In 2019, a study was conducted that followed 2.1 million Danish men over a span of 38 years. They found that amongst the men who had vasectomies, there was a small increase in prostate cancer. 
  • They say that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. For some men who’ve had vasectomies performed on them, regret is something they experience most especially if they enter a new relationship. The good news to this is that there is such a thing as a reverse vasectomy surgery. 

These are very important, life-changing effects that one needs to consider before getting a vasectomy. We hope we’ve helped you make an informed decision about your health. If you have any questions, do send us a message!

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