Vasectomy: Quick Facts
This website is dedicated to helping men boost their fertility and improve their chances of conceiving a child. But, there is also a near sure-fire way to make you sterile and ensure that you’re firing blanks: vasectomy.
What is it?
Many men elect to have a vasectomy as a permanent means of birth control. A vasectomy is a very routine procedure that urologists perform in their office to sever and seal the vas deferens, which prevents sperm from entering the ejaculate. Everything else will still work the same, you simply won’t have any sperm in your semen post-vasectomy.
There are several different methods that the doctors can use to perform the operation. The most common method is to make a small incision on each side of the scrotum to isolate the vas deferens on either side. The tubes are brought to the surface, cut, and sealed on one or both sides by suturing, cauterizing, or clamping. Many doctors will use a hemostat (as opposed to a scalpel) to puncture the scrotum sac and perform the procedure. This reduces the entry wound and typically does not require suturing, leading to faster healing.
The whole procedure can usually be performed within 30 minutes, and you’ll be back to normal activities within a few days.
Vasectomies fail (meaning sperm is still ejaculated after the procedure) in about 1 out of 2000 patients. Doctors recommend at least two post-vasectomy semen analyses (generally at 2 months and 6 months) to verify that the procedure was successful. The semen analysis is conducted to ensure that there are no sperm present in the semen.
Annual number of procedures
There are over 500,000 vasectomies performed in the U.S. every year.
The average cost of a vasectomy is around $800 in the US.
Never say never. There are currently over 35,000 vasectomy reversals performed in the U.S. every year. Personal situations change all the time and some men that chose to have a vasectomy later decide to undergo this procedure to restore their fertility. Typical reasons include relationships ending, spouse or child death, kids moved off to college, etc. Sometimes you just want your sperm back.
The procedure involves reconnecting the tubes necessary for providing sperm into the ejaculate. The surgical method actually depends on the condition of the vas deferens – if sperm are present in the testicle side of the vas deferens, then the surgeon connects the two ends of the vas deferens together. If sperm are not present, then the surgeon connects the epididymis to the vas deferens to restore sperm flow.
While your sperm count and motility are not likely to be as strong as they were pre-vasectomy, the pregnancy rate for vasectomy reversal patients has been reported to be as high as 76% in the first 3 years following the procedure, dropping down to 25% after 10 years.
Out-of-pocket costs for a vasectomy reversal average ~$10,000.
This doesn't need to be a taboo subject left in a closet, nor do men need to go through this alone. Education and community are key elements to improving health. Don't cook your balls is a space for us to share science and experience advance the state of male reproductive health care.
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