What is a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is the only permanent form of contraception available for men and has been commonly performed worldwide for more than 50 years. In Australia, more than 25,000 men undergo the procedure every year. It is widely accepted to be one of the safest and most reliable forms of birth control.
How Does It Work?
Each testicle produces sperm, which travel along a fine tube called the vas deferens up into the pelvis, where they combine with the fluid that emerges during ejaculation (semen). Vasectomy involves dividing these tubes, so that sperm cannot enter this fluid. It does not significantly change the volume of the ejaculated fluid or its consistency, nor does it affect sexual function.
What is involved?
There are a few variations on how vasectomies can be performed. In our clinic, we use the “No-Scalpel Vasectomy” technique, under local anaesthesia.
During this procedure, the skin of the scrotum is numbed initially using a medicated patch, and further local anaesthetic is then injected. A single puncture is then made in the skin of the scrotum, rather than scalpel incisions. Each vas is brought to the surface through this single puncture and a small segment removed. The cut ends are then sealed, before being repositioned in the scrotum, with a layer of tissue between them. Usually stitches are not required at the end of the procedure.
The No-Scalpel technique is associated with lower risks of bruising and pain compared with standard vasectomy.
Are there any side effects?
Lots of myths about vasectomy exist. However most are inaccurate. In particular, there is no reliable evidence that vasectomy has a negative effect on sex drive and performance, sexual function and orgasm, or a reduction in testosterone levels. There is no evidence after analysis of many large-scale trials of any link to other health risks such as vascular disease or cancer.
However, there are some potential risks with any procedure. Short-term risks include bruising and swelling and some mild discomfort. More infrequent complications such as bleeding and infection can be easily managed with further treatment. A few patients develop a small lump where the tubes have been cut (a sperm granuloma) which is not harmful, and less than 1% of post-vasectomy patients experience long-term discomfort
Vasectomy is a permanent and effective form of contraception...
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