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Vasectomy FAQs and Information

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure, generally carried out under local anesthesia, to produce male sterilization.

What does the procedure involve?

A vasectomy involves cutting and closing off the tubes that carry sperm. The procedure generally takes 20-30 minutes.

A local anesthetic is injected in the skin of the scrotum. This generally feels like a pin stick for 2-5 seconds.

Once the area becomes numb, there is no sensation of pain; you may however feel touch or pressure, which may extend into the groin or lower abdomen.

Is there pain after the vasectomy?

Pain and swelling can be quite variable from patient to patient.

There may be mild discomfort in the scrotum and groin for 3-5 days. At times there may be discoloration of the scrotum due to a small amount of blood seeping under the skin, which will resolve on its own.

After the procedure, you will be able to walk out of the office and resume reasonable activity.

NOTE: 

Wear a snug athletic supporter or briefs for 3-4 days.

It is also important to refrain from sexual activity and heavy lifting or straining for 7 days after the procedure.

Is a vasectomy permanent?

It should be considered a permanent procedure, however rare failures do occur. Less than 1% of vasectomies need to be repeated.

If requested, there are operations to re-connect the tubes.

Will I be immediately sterile?

No, sterilization takes about 8-12 weeks. At 12 weeks you will provide
a semen specimen to determine if sperm are absent. If no sperm are seen, then you are considered sterile.

Sexual function will not change. Complete absence of sperm can take several months in a few cases.

Are there risks?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Generally, these would include bleeding, infection and persistent pain.

Very rare complications include injury to the blood supply to the testicles and failure of the procedure.

There is no risk of impacting your sexual function or hormone levels.

Patient Instructions: Before Surgery

  1. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Generally, these would include bleeding, infection and persistent pain.

    Very rare complications include injury to the blood supply to the testicles and failure of the procedure.

    There is no risk of impacting your sexual function or hormone levels.

  2. On the night before the procedure, shave the entire scrotal area. It is not necessary to shave the thighs. After shaving, wash the area thoroughly with antibacterial soap.

  3. Prior to leaving for your appointment, wash the area again, with antibacterial soap for about 5 minutes.

  4. Your procedure will take about 20 to 30 minutes.

  5. Bring a clean athletic supporter.

Patient Instructions: After Surgery

  1. The stitches in the skin will dissolve and will not need to be removed. Apply antibiotic ointment regularly to the area, until stitches are gone.

  2. Take 600-800 mg ibuprofen, 3-4 times a day OR 500-1,000 mg Tylenol every 6 hours as needed for pain.

  3. The skin around the incisions may become black and blue. This will resolve on its own.

  4. You may shower the next day, but no soaking for 3 days. Avoid swimming in a pool for 1 week and avoid lakes and fresh water for 10-14 days.

  5. You may experience minor discomfort following the procedure. Wear an athletic supporter and apply ice for approximately 24 hours. If swelling of more than 50%, or greater-than normal scrotal size occurs, call the office: 419-232-6051.

  6. No strenuous activity for 24-48 hours. Intercourse should also be avoided during this period or until any swelling and soreness has stopped.

  7. Remember, you will NOT be sterile immediately after the vasectomy. You can stop using contraceptive measures during intercourse when your sperm count is zero. After eight weeks from the time of the vasectomy, a specimen of semen should be taken to a lab where a microscopic exam will determine if sperm are absent.