It's a well know fact that vasectomy is the safest, simplest and least expensive form of birth control and yet it is significantly underutilized. Why this is the case is unclear, so let's present the facts here about vasectomy and perhaps it's a choice more men will make.
Vasectomy is a simple, office based procedure estimated to be performed between 175,000 to 500,000 times a year. At least 75% of vasectomies are performed by urologists. The technique that I perform is known as the No Scalpel Vasectomy, which was designed to simplify and reduce the pain and complications which may be associated with vasectomy.
The vasectomy itself is usually performed in the doctors office under local anesthesia. The patient is offered take a 10 mg Valium for relaxation if he desires. The entire procedure takes between 10 and 15 minutes and the patient is able to travel home with the aid of his companion. There is no specific preparation needed other than stopping aspirin or any other blood thinner 1 week prior to the procedure.
The patient is instructed to rest the night of the procedure and he is able to drive and engage in most daily activities including driving the next day. It is recommended to refrain from heavy exercise such as jogging or weight lifting for one week. The same is true of sexual activity.
It is important to realize that it could take up to 3 to 6 months for a man to be declared sterile. This is determined by semen analysis which is obtained starting approximately 8-10 weeks after the vasectomy. Until then other forms of contraception should be used.
The most common side effects usually mild such as scrotal discomfort, mild swelling and bruising. If post vasectomy semen analysis reveals live sperm after 6 months a repeat vasectomy is indicated but this rarely happens. There is also a very small chance that the ends of the divided Vas can reconnect (known as recanalization) resulting in the presence of sperm and pregnancy, but this happens around 1-% of all vasectomies.