Are you looking for a hormone-free contraception method? Many men have partners who can’t tolerate birth control pills or simply want an alternative to female birth control.
A vasectomy is one of those alternatives, and unlike other contraception methods, it doesn’t impact your hormone levels. In many cases, the procedure can even be reversed if you change your mind down the line.
To help you get a better grasp of the pros and cons of a vasectomy, we asked our men’s sexual health specialist and skilled urologist, Dr. William Brant, the following questions: What is a vasectomy, and what are the benefits of getting one? Keep reading for the answers.
Vasectomies are a widely used form of male contraception. In the United States alone, 1 in 10 males opt for a vasectomy.
During a vasectomy, Dr. Brant cuts, separates, and seals the vas deferens, the sperm-carrying tubes, so the sperm doesn’t end up in your semen. Instead, the sperm gets reabsorbed by your body without any side effects.
You may have read or heard about vasectomies being linked to heart disease, cancer, or autoimmune diseases. However, the risk of developing these as a consequence of a vasectomy is extremely low if it exists at all. This remains a controversial subject but, for the vast majority of men, the benefits of a vasectomy far outweigh the risks.
Vasectomy recovery and long-term benefits
The procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete, and it’s done on an outpatient basis. Some patients may experience some swelling after the procedure, but most men can go back to their daily routine.
That said, playing sports, lifting heavy weights, and doing any high-intensity activities on the days following the procedure isn’t recommended, because these activities may cause bleeding in your scrotum. Additionally, you can resume having sex with your partner within about a week. Overall, Dr. Brant recommends taking it relatively easy for around 2 weeks. Enjoy the rest!
A few weeks after your procedure, Dr. Brant will ask you to come back to his office for a test to see if there’s any sperm in your semen so you can be certain that the procedure was successful. He recommends using a backup form of birth control during sex until you receive testing confirming that your semen is free of sperm.
Vasectomies are one of the contraceptive methods with the highest success rate, as it doesn’t rely on following a pill schedule or remembering to put on a condom to prevent pregnancy.
Can it be reversed?
A vasectomy is often thought to be irreversible. That’s actually not true. If you do change your mind later down the line, Dr. Brant does offer vasectomy reversals to restore fertility.
Success rates (depending how you define success) after a vasectomy reversal range anywhere between 30% to 90%, depending on how long it’s been since you had the procedure, as well as your age and overall hormonal health. Pregnancy, which is the outcome that most couples care about, is actually more dependent on the age, health, and fertility status of the female partner.
If you still have questions about getting a vasectomy or want to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brant, contact our Salt Lake City, Utah, office by calling 801-207-7922 and find out if a vasectomy aligns with your goals.