Making a decision on whether to have a vasectomy is a deeply personal one, but there are certainly many pros and cons to consider.
Many men are worried about having the snip because they believe it will cause problems for them during sexy time. Others are more concerned that they will be less manly and will lose their ability to father children forever. Many just stress out that it’s going to be painful and they don’t have time to take a few days off work to get it done.
Before looking at pros and cons, thanks to the government’s Health Direct website here are some facts about what a vasectomy actually is:
What is a vasectomy?
- It is a surgical procedure that sterilises a man and prevents him fathering children.
- It cuts the vas deferens which are the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the penis.
- Having one does not change a man’s sexual desire or his ability to reach orgasm.
- It won’t stop the production of semen.
- Sometimes it be reversed but it is generally permanent.
- There will be pain and swelling in the groin or scrotum, and probably some bruising.
- A vasectomy does not work immediately and can take months and up to 20 ejaculations to clear the sperm in the vas deferens after the procedure.
- A very small proportion of vasectomies fail. This is why it is important to use contraception until a semen test is clear.
- A vasectomy takes 20 to 40 minutes and can be carried out under local, light or general anaesthetic.
- After the procedure, a man will still be able to ejaculate but the sperm that are produced will be reabsorbed by the body.
Hint: If there is any chance you may want children later, you can ask to have some sperm frozen. Talk to your doctor before arranging the procedure.
Pros on having a vasectomy
It can positively impact on the sexual satisfaction of couples because the worry of falling pregnant isn’t there. Since vasectomy prevents the release of sperm from the penis but not the release to testosterone, there is no decrease in the libido or sex drive of the man.
Effective birth control.
Studies say in most cases a vasectomy is 99 per cent effective when it comes to birth control which is ideal for couples who agree they don’t want to have any more children.
It’s a minor procedure
Compared to a woman having a tubal ligation a few years after she’s finished having children, a vasectomy can be performed as an out-patient and normal life can be resumed within a few days. It also means women can cease taking other methods of birth control.
Cons of vasectomy
Some men get depressed
Many men who have this procedure reported that they have a feeling of loss after realising a part of their reproductive system has been cut or sliced. Not being able to produce an offspring in the future can emotionally effect men long term.
A vasectomy is generally permanent. Sometimes it is possible to re-join the vas tubes, but this does not guarantee the man will be able to produce another child. The chances of success decrease with time after the procedure.
Some men experience chronic pain in the testicles, immediately or several months after the procedure. There might be pain, swelling and discomfort immediately after the procedure.
Additionally, unlike condoms this form of birth control can’t protect both sexual partners against sexually transmitted diseases.