The decision to have a vasectomy is a very personal one. It's very important that you understand what a vasectomy is and if a vasectomy is the right form of contraception for you.
A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure designed to stop sperm from passing from the testicles to the penis. Vasectomies are usually performed in the urologist's office. On the day of the procedure the patient will be required to sign a surgical consent form. Next the patient is brought into the procedure room. Their scrotal area will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. Local anesthesia will be injected to numb the area but the patient will be aware of touch, tension and movement during the procedure. In most cases the local anesthetic eliminates any sharp pain.
The urologist makes one or two small cuts in the skin of the scrotum. The vas deferens is cut, and a small piece may be removed leaving a short gap between the two remaining ends. Then the urologist occludes the cut ends with clips or sutures; cauterizes the cut ends and closes up the scrotal incision with dissolvable stitches.
Your urologist should provide you with specific recommendations for your care after a vasectomy. It is generally wise to return home immediately after the procedure and avoid strenuous or sexual activity. An ice pack on the scrotum helps with any swelling. Most patients can expect to recover completely in less than a week and many are able to return to their job as early as a day after the procedure. Sexual activity can usually be resumed within a few days following a vasectomy. However, it is important that all patients recognize that a vasectomy, even though successful, is not effective immediately. The effectiveness of the vasectomy must be proven by having the patient submit at least one semen analysis that shows the absence of sperm before ending contraceptive use.