Picture this: you’re at home recovering from a vasectomy during March Madness with hours of college basketball to entertain you.
Does this sound like your dream (or your husband’s)?
Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute is offering vasectomy clinics throughout March for men looking to schedule a procedure. Click HERE for a full schedule and registration information.
For those considering a vasectomy but still unsure, urologist Kathryn Wagner, MD, answers four of the most common questions she gets from patients.
What are the benefits of a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a permanent form of male birth control. It’s also one of the safest and most reliable contraceptive options out there.
How does the procedure work?
During a vasectomy, your doctor removes a small segment of each vas deferens – the long tube that carries sperm from the testicle to the prostate. The procedure is typically done in the office under local anesthesia and takes just 30 minutes.
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How long is the recovery?
Men can expect some swelling and bruising for the first few days after the procedure. Most manage with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication. Patients should avoid sexual activity for a week after the surgery and strenuous activity for about two weeks.
“It’s especially important to note that men are not sterile until roughly three months after the procedure, because sperm can live in the vas deferens for more than 70 days,” says Wagner.
Can you reverse a vasectomy?
To sum it up – yes, but not always.
“Reversing a vasectomy involves surgery under general anesthesia, which isn’t always covered by insurance and may be quite expensive. It also may not work in all men,” says Wagner.
Wagner – and most other urologists – generally tells her patients that a vasectomy is a permanent procedure.
What advice would you have for men who are contemplating the procedure?
“I generally recommend that men talk to their partner to make sure they’re on the same page about family planning and are done having children. There’s also a lot of myths out there about vasectomy that just aren’t true—it doesn’t change sexual function or affect your risk for other diseases,” Wagner says.
Although there are some reliable resources of information online, Wagner recommends an appointment to talk to a urologist about the procedure.