Are you at a point in your life where you’re done having children or you don’t want to have children? Have you grown tired of the inconvenience of current birth control options and pregnancy “scares?”
Have you considered a vasectomy?
The idea of “getting snipped” can strike fear into any man’s heart, but the truth is that a vasectomy is safe and effective. In fact, it’s much safer, more effective, and less invasive than your partner’s sterilization options. It’s also a quick, nearly painless, in-office procedure for most men.
Despite its effectiveness and ease, though, some myths are still making the rounds and may be holding you back.
Myth #1: A vasectomy is complicated and invasive
The Truth: While it’s true that your urologist has to make a cut in your skin, it is actually a very small incision or two and complications are rare. The procedure is very quick, usually performed in the office, and generally only takes about 15 minutes.
Myth #2: Getting a vasectomy hurts
The Truth: Most men are surprised at how little it actually hurts. After you receive a very small shot to numb the area, the rest of the procedure will feel more like pressure or tugging. The numbing shot itself is best described as a pinch. Afterward, the discomfort is generally mild enough to be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication and an ice pack.
Myth #3: Recovery is long
The Truth: Recovery is quicker than you’d think. Most men take it easy for a couple of days and can even resume sexual activity in three days. Because of the short recovery time, many men schedule their vasectomy for a Thursday or Friday and are back to work on Monday. March Madness and other televised events are also popular planning considerations!
Myth #4: A vasectomy will decrease your sex drive
The Truth: A vasectomy only stops your body from releasing sperm. It doesn’t affect you desire, sex drive, erection, or ability to perform. Testosterone, which helps control your sex drive, is transported through the bloodstream, not through semen, so it isn’t affected at all by a vasectomy.
Myth #5: It will make sex less pleasurable
The Truth: Nope! In fact, the spontaneity, freedom, and peace of mind you gain will probably make you enjoy it more. The only thing a vasectomy changes is what goes into your semen. It does not affect erections or sensation.
Myth #6: Sperm buildup
The Truth: Vasectomy effectively blocks sperm from being released into semen, but that doesn’t mean the sperm is trapped in your body. Sperm production is a constant process, and sperm that are not released are simply reabsorbed. This is true even without a vasectomy. There is no uncomfortable sperm buildup.
Myth #7: Increased risk of prostate cancer
The Truth: Most studies have shown no risk of prostate cancer. The few that have suggested a risk could not prove that vasectomy was the cause. No studies have definitively proven a relationship between prostate cancer and vasectomy.
Myth #8: Pregnancies still happen
The Truth: A vasectomy is nearly 100% effective. When vasectomies appear to fail, it’s usually because the patient has unprotected sex before confirming that they are sperm free. There is already sperm in your system before the procedure. It takes 15-20 ejaculations over several weeks for that sperm to completely clear your tubes after surgery. That’s why your urologist sends you home with a specimen cup and instructions to use additional birth control until your sperm has been given the all-clear.
Myth #9: It’s 100% permanent
The Truth: You should assume that it will be 100% permanent and only have a vasectomy when you are certain you do not want children/more children. It’s true that vasectomies can be reversed, but reversal is more difficult and much more expensive than a vasectomy. And it’s not always successful. A vasectomy may be convenient, but it should never be used as short term birth control.
Myth #10: It’s Expensive
The Truth: Most health insurances cover vasectomies. You can verify vasectomy coverage with your insurance company by calling the 800 number on your insurance card. Even without insurance, the total cost of a vasectomy is without insurance is $1550. This includes the assessment/physical appointment, the vasectomy procedure, and the follow-up semen check. That’s much cheaper than a lot of female birth control options and definitely less expensive than another kid!
The Bottom Line
The Truth: The truth is a vasectomy is the safest, most effective, easiest form of permanent birth control.
Think you’re ready?