What is vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a procedure where vas deferens (the duct that carries sperm from testes to penis) is cut in order to prevent sperm from travelling out of the testes (balls) into the semen. It is a permanent family planning method (birth control) for males.

It is a procedure where doctors give local anaesthetic in the mid-line of the scrotum and a small puncture is made. Vas is picked up, a small cut is made and a segment of vas is removed, cauterized and vas is pulled back to its position. The punctured hole is then closed.

What is no needle, no scalpel, open ended vasectomy?

While performing a vasectomy if the doctor does not use a needle to numb the scrotum and uses no scalpel blade (surgeon’s knife) to make a hole in the scrotum, it is called ‘no needle, no scalpel’ vasectomy. If during vasectomy, the lower end of divided vas deferens is left open, it is called ‘open ended’ vasectomy. Open ended vasectomy has two benefits over closed ended vasectomy. Firstly, there is less post-vasectomy pain since there is less inflammation and pressure in the vas from accumulation of sperm. Secondly, there is higher chance of success with vasectomy reversal if required in future.

Vasectomy in Sydney performs only no needle, no scalpel, open ended vasectomy.

Am I a right candidate for vasectomy?

If you have completed your family or you do not wish to have any children, you are a right candidate for vasectomy.

Do I have to stay in hospital to get vasectomy? What is the recovery time?

No, vasectomy can be done in vasectomy clinics or in doctor’s office. The usual recovery period is 2-3 days.

Is it painful to do vasectomy?

No, it is not a painful procedure. There may be mild discomfort when a jet of local anaesthetic is given but it is not painful. Vasectomy in Sydney does not use any needle but uses small jets of local anaesthetic which hardly causes pain.

Is there any complication that I should be aware of?

No scalpel vasectomy is a very safe procedure. There can be minor bruising and bleeding at the operation site. Sometimes infections can occur, though not common and you may need an antibiotic. Vasectomy failure, sperm granuloma and testicular pain are some rare complications.

How long should I rest after vasectomy?

You may need rest for 1-2 days after vasectomy but if you intend to run, swim or do any other strenuous physical activity, you may need rest for 1-2 weeks.

When can I have sex after vasectomy?

You can start having sex whenever you feel comfortable but it is better if you can avoid it for a few days after the procedure.

Do I need to worry about pregnancy after vasectomy?

You need to remember that vasectomy  is not effective immediately after the procedure. Even after cutting vas deferens, sperm can remain in the tube and can take few months for them to be ejaculated or reabsorbed by the body. There are chances that you can get a woman pregnant during this period. So, you need to use other method of family planning like condom.

It usually takes about 15-20 ejaculations or 3 months after the procedure to flush out any remaining sperm from each vas deferens.

After 3 months or when you have had 15-20 ejaculations, you need to visit your doctor to give a sample of your semen to the laboratory to confirm whether you have sperm or not in your semen. This is the only way to confirm that you are sterile and cannot make a woman pregnant.

What if I decide to have children in future? Can vasectomy be reversed?

Vasectomy is a permanent method of contraception but reversal may be possible. The chances of a successful reversal are not good and depends on many factors like time since vasectomy, technique used, and condition of vas. It is a very expensive procedure and is not covered by health funds.

An alternative to vasectomy reversal, which is less expensive, is a procedure called sperm extraction. Sperm is collected from testis or epididymis and stored for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in future if needed.

Vasectomy in Sydney does not favour vasectomy reversal but wants all males to think carefully and make a right decision before deciding to do a vasectomy.

How effective is vasectomy?

Vasectomy is one of the most effective methods of contraception at present. The failure rate is around 0.15% as compared to female tube tying/tubal ligation(0.5%), IUD (0.8%), pills (9%) or male condom (18%).

Will vasectomy affect my sex life?

Vasectomy is not castration. It does not reduce your sexual desire or function. You will still get erections and can have normal ejaculation. The only difference is that the ejaculate does not contain sperm and you cannot make a woman pregnant. In fact, vasectomy has shown to increase sexual desire and improve man’s sexual life.

Where will the sperm go after vasectomy? Will I be able to ejaculate?

Normally, sperms come from testes to penis during ejaculation. But after vasectomy, sperm cannot pass through the vas deferens since they are cut and tied; so they are reabsorbed by the body.

But you will still have ejaculation since 97% of the ejaculate is made of secretions from seminal vesicles and prostate gland and only 3% is sperm.

I am single, can I have vasectomy?

Yes. If you are never married or separated or divorced but not planning to have any children, you can still get vasectomy done. But remember vasectomy is a permanent method and if you change your mind in future, reversal is not always successful.

Will vasectomy increase my risk of getting prostate cancer?

There are many studies done to find a link between vasectomy and the risk of prostate cancer but all results are inconclusive. Scientists have been unable to identify any reason why vasectomy might increase the risk of prostate cancer.

At present, most authorities, including the National Cancer Institute and the American Urological Association, agree that vasectomy does not increase the risk of prostate cancer.

There is no evidence to suggest that vasectomy increases the risk of testicular cancer.

Is vasectomy covered under medicare?

Medicare does not totally refund the cost of vasectomy but you do get refund ranging from 75-85% of the total cost.

Does my health fund cover vasectomy cost?

Different health funds have different policies and the type of policy depends from member to member. Some funds charge access for any procedure and you may not be getting much back. It is better to check with your health fund to see how much refund you get before  you come for vasectomy.