A local anesthetic is administered prior to the operation. The vas deferens (The tube connecting the testes with the urethra), are operated on one at a time. A very small incision is made and the tube is cut then sutured, cauterized, or clipped to closed them off.
In a no-scalpel vasectomy a special forcep punctures (rather than cuts) the skin. In the one tiny puncture both tubes are tied off, cauterized or blocked. This procedure does not require any sutures.
Both types of vasectomy have the same result in as much as it makes the man sterile by keeping the sperm out of the seminal fluid. The sperm continue to be produced in the testes but are absorbed into the body with no ill effects. What this means is you will still ejaculate fluid as before, but without the sperm in it, there is no danger of an unwanted pregnancy.
A vasectomy is a relatively quick procedure that takes about 30 minutes and is performed using a local anesthetic. This reduces post operative recovery time, minimizes side effects as a general anesthetic is not necessary, reduces the costs and can be done on an outpatient basis.
As for possible side affects:
Pain. Any pain or discomfort should stop after about a week. Most pain will respond well to mild analgesics. Chronic pain is experienced by some men.
Infection A small amount of redness, bruising and swelling is normal but if you develop a temperature or the swelling is not going down, increases or becomes very painful, always seek medical advice.
Granulomas a benign (non cancerous) lump, may develop as a result of leakage of sperm from the cut end of the vas into the scrotal tissues resulting in an inflammatory reaction. This lump may be painful or sensitive to touch or pressure and is generally treated with anti-inflammatory agents.
In a very small number of cases sperm granulomas cause more serious complications and occasionally reversal of the vasectomy may be attempted to try to resolve this problem.
Epididymitis occurs when inflammation at the site of the vasectomy can causes swelling of the epididymis (the tightly-coiled tube connecting the efferent ducts from the rear of each testicle to its vas deferens). Swelling should subside within about one week.
Abscesses are rare but are the result of infection from the operation or picked up post operatively.
Erectile dysfunction or decreased sexual desire can occur in the form of impotence, premature ejaculation, and painful intercourse. The cause is believed to be, mostly psychological in nature and the vasectomy is believed to exacerbate previous difficulties and problems between sexual partners, as opposed to causing any NEW issues.
Counseling and investigation is required to resolve difficulties.
Some studies have linked vasectomy to prostate cancer and kidney but the evidence is contradictory and more research is required in this area.
Pregnancy Following a Vasectomy
In some rare cases pregnancy has occurred. The causes include a failure in the surgical procedure, the man not using additional contraceptive methods in the 3 months following the procedure, or complications following the vasectomy.
The US Agency for International Development state that commonly quoted statistic is from 0.2% to 0.4% up to failures rates as high as 3-5%. The Centers for Disease Control estimated there is a probability of 11 per 1,000 procedures over 2 years. Half of the failures occurred in the first three months after the vasectomy. No failures occurred after 72 weeks.
Recent research shows that men often do not go for follow up tests for semen analysis following vasectomy.
It is advisable to wait about a week. Remember for the first 15-20 ejaculations sperm will still be present in your system, so use another form of contraception until semen analysis shows that sperm are no longer present in your seminal fluid.
How and when is the semen analysis done following my vasectomy?
You will have to provide a specimen of your semen by masturbating into a container provided by the doctors office. This fluid is then examined under a microscope to see if there are any sperm.
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