Let’s Talk Vasectomy Truths
It takes a lot of consideration and self-reflection to come to the conclusion that it’s time for a vasectomy. Even when a man has determined that he does not want to have more children, he may procrastinate in making an appointment with his urologist. We find that procrastination is often linked to some misunderstanding about the vasectomy procedure or how it works or doesn’t work. Here, we dispel vasectomy myths that have long been proven wrong.
A vasectomy is an invasive, difficult surgery.
Vasectomies are performed in the urologist’s office, usually in less than half an hour. It does involve one or two tiny incisions, but this hardly qualifies as invasive surgery. The precision technique utilized by an experienced urologist minimizes the risks of this office procedure.
It hurts to get a vasectomy.
As a men’s health specialist, Dr. Shridharani understands the delicate nature of the vasectomy procedure, beginning with the decision to seek long-term birth control. It can be difficult to schedule a procedure on a sensitive body part. Compassionate care includes the liberal use of local anesthesia to the treatment site to ensure full desensitization. A minor injection can feel like a pinch, after which the local anesthetic numbs all of the tissue involved in the vasectomy. Patients may feel a sensation of tugging, but this is not painful.
It hurts to recover from a vasectomy.
Again, no. Patients can expect soreness after their vasectomy, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication taken as directed. Patients should not wait to gauge discomfort; they should take pain medication at directed intervals for at least 24 hours. After two days of downtime during which physical activity is limited, patients are usually ready to return to work and other light activities.
Sex drive decreases after a vasectomy.
Quite the contrary. Most men who have a vasectomy feel mentally freer to have intercourse without worry about an unplanned pregnancy. As a result, sexual experiences can become even more pleasurable. The vasectomy works by blocking the passageway through which sperm travel to the penis. Hormone production remains intact, therefore libido, erectile function, sensation, and sexual performance are unchanged after the procedure.
A vasectomy can fail.
While this is possible, most “failures” that involve unplanned pregnancy following a vasectomy are a matter of timing. Patients must understand that having a vasectomy does not eliminate sperm that may be present in the reproductive system at the time of the procedure. It can take around 20 ejaculations for the body to clear all existing sperm. Weeks after the procedure, the doctor performs a test to confirm the absence of sperm in semen. Until this confirmation has occurred, patients should refrain from having sex without backup birth control.
Dr. Shridharani sees patients in three convenient Chattanooga locations. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at an office near you.