Monday, March 23, 2009

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is an operation that makes a man permanently unable to get a woman pregnant. It involves cutting the 2 tubes called as deferents so that sperm can no longer get into the semen.

How is a vasectomy done?
A vasectomy is usually done in your doctor's office or in an outpatient surgery center. The operation takes about half an hour. You'll be awake during the procedure. Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to numb your scrotum.

After you're numb, your doctor will cut a small opening (an incision) on one side of your scrotum and pull out part of the as deferents on that side. You may feel some tugging and pulling. A small section of the as deferents is removed. The ends of the as deferents will be sealed by stitching them shut, by searing them shut with heat, or by using another method. Your doctor will then do the same thing on the other side.

Your doctor will close the 2 openings in your scrotum with stitches. After 3 to 10 days, the stitches will disappear by themselves.

What is no-scalpel vasectomy?
The no-scalpel vasectomy involves making a very small puncture (a hole) in the scrotum instead of an incision. The puncture is so small that it heals without stitches.

How effective is vasectomy in preventing pregnancy?
Vasectomy may be the safest, most effective kind of birth control. Only about 15 out of 10,000 couples get pregnant the first year after a vasectomy.

Are there any reasons I shouldn't have a vasectomy?
Don't have a vasectomy unless you're sure you don't want to have children in the future. You may need to wait to have a vasectomy, or may not be able to have one, if you have an infection on or around your genitals, or you have a bleeding disorder.

What are the risks of a vasectomy?
Problems that might occur after your vasectomy include bleeding, infection and a usually mild inflammatory reaction to sperm that may have gotten loose during the surgery (called sperm granuloma). Call your doctor if you notice any of the signs in the box below.
Another risk is that the ends of the as deferents may find a way to create a new path to one another. This doesn't occur very often. But if it does, you could be able to cause a pregnancy.

Call your doctor if:

* You have a fever.
* You have swelling that won't go down or keeps getting worse.
* You have trouble urinating.
* You can feel a lump forming in your scrotum.
* You have bleeding from an incision that doesn't stop even after you've pinched the site between 2 gauze pads for 10 minutes

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