Common Myths and Misconceptions of Vasectomies

Common Myths and Misconceptions of Vasectomies

Learn more about the procedure that Jamal decided to go through following Tasha's pregnancy scare.

Published January 20, 2012

On this week’s episode of Let’s Stay Together, Jamal was weighing the decisions on whether he should undergo a vasectomy following Tasha’s pregnancy scare.

If you’re like most people, the first thing that pops in your head when you hear the word vasectomy is pain. But what are the common myths and misconceptions associated with the male procedure? has the Top 10 vasectomy questions and answers on their website. Below are five questions that Jamal likely asked his urologist before agreeing to the procedure:

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure used by urologic surgeons to make a man sterile. It is one of the most popular forms of contraception in the United States and worldwide, and is regarded as safe, simple and highly effective. A vasectomy is performed by cutting the vas deferens, the small tube that carries sperm from the man's testicles to become part of his semen. Although the man continues to have sexual intercourse and climax as before, his semen does not contain sperm and he cannot father a child following a vasectomy.

What is a "No-Scalpel" Vasectomy (NSV)?

The No-Scalpel technique is one of two main methods surgeons use to perform a vasectomy. Many doctors favor the No-Scalpel method because — unlike the traditional vasectomy approach — a scalpel is not required and there are no incisions (only one or two small openings in the skin). In addition, the NSV often results in less discomfort after the procedure with a reduced risk of bleeding or infection. Also, there is no perceptible scarring.

How long does the No-Scalpel procedure and recovery take?

The procedure itself usually takes about 15 minutes, sometimes less. However, including the office routine, paperwork and preparation, the total time in a doctor's office may be about an hour. The procedure is likely to produce tenderness, discomfort and slight swelling in the first two or three days afterwards, with a return to nearly all usual activities typically within a week. (Follow your doctor's instructions carefully, take your time and use the schedule that is right for you.)

Does it work immediately?

No, any vasectomy does not make you sterile right away, and you'll want to continue using some other means to guard against pregnancy until your doctor tells you otherwise. Immediately after a vasectomy, active sperm remain in the semen for a period of time. It may take 15 to 20 ejaculations and several weeks before your semen is free of sperm. Your doctor will test the semen, perhaps several times over several weeks, and let you know when you can safely consider the vasectomy to be complete. This may be as long as two months.

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

You should consider any vasectomy to be permanent. There are delicate microsurgery operations that may be able to reverse the effects of a vasectomy, but there is no assurance that the flow of sperm can be restored or pregnancy will result in every case. The likelihood of success can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances, including how much time has passed since the vasectomy. If you are seriously considering a vasectomy, it's best to assume that it will be a permanent change.

(Photo: BET)

Written by Marcus Vanderberg


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