Vasectomy: Frequently Asked Questions
If you are in the process of considering a vasectomy for sterilization, you may have questions. Here’s a list of the most frequent questions that we receive from patients. If you have a question that we have not answered, please contact our offices. And, when you are ready to schedule a consultation and procedure, please let us know. Advanced Urology board-certified physicians have performed thousands of vasectomies at our three Denver-metro locations!
The no-scalpel vasectomy was first introduced to the United States in 1985. Although the end result is the same, the no scalpel vasectomy technique uses a small skin puncture to gain access to the vas deferens—the tubes that transport sperm—instead of two larger incisions.
“No needle” refers to the way anesthesia is given. The doctor uses a special device rather than needle injections to numb the vas deferens. This technique cases causes less discomfort than does a needle injection of the local anesthetic.
A traditional vasectomy involves the use of a scalpel to make two incisions in the skin of the scrotum (as opposed to a single small skin puncture with the no scalpel approach). This requires more anesthesia (needle sticks) and the risks of infection and bleeding are higher.
Most men feel little, if any, pain with a no scalpel vasectomy. There is mild discomfort with the application of anesthesia. You may experience a slight tugging sensation during the procedure. The effects of the anesthesia will last for several hours and this will allow you time to go home, lie down and apply an ice pack. Tylenol will be all that you require later for vasectomy inflammation and vasectomy pain relief. There will be a small amount of swelling that may last for three to seven days. You may have some bruising on the scrotum after the procedure, which usually resolves within a few days.
Your no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy will be performed by one of our six board-certified urologists who have had years of experience and have performed more than 10,000 vasectomies combined. If you so chose, you may meet with your urologist prior to the procedure for a consultation.
If you are certain you want to proceed with a vasectomy, you may ask for same-day vasectomy when you call for an appointment. You will have a consultation with one of our doctors before he performs the vasectomy. Please call 720-457-8380 to schedule your appointment.
We recommend that you remain sedentary for two days following your vasectomy. You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for one week. Most men who have the procedure on a Friday will be back to work on Monday.
A vasectomy is faster, cheaper and, most importantly, safer than a tubal ligation. Unlike a vasectomy, a tubal ligation requires general or regional anesthesia, a day-surgery setting, and is performed inside the abdominal cavity. Because it is a more complicated procedure, a tubal ligation carries greater health risks and has a longer recovery period than a vasectomy.
A vasectomy is faster, cheaper and, most importantly, safer than the highly marketed Essure procedure.
No. Sperm will remain “downstream” within the vas deferens for several months. It will take about a dozen ejaculations or more to evacuate the vas deferens of sperm and, obviously, it is important that you and your partner continue to use another form of birth control until the system has completely cleared.
Yes, in some cases the no-needle technique does not penetrate as deeply as we’d like and we find it necessary to add an additional amount of anesthesia using a syringe and tiny needle. This is referred to as after-loading. Since the skin has already been numbed with the spray, it is unusual for patients to feel any discomfort.
You will be given two specimen containers before you leave our offices. Approximately eight to 10 weeks (and after about 15 to 20 ejaculations) after your vasectomy, you will be asked to bring in your first sample. We highly recommend you continue some other form of birth control until we see two consecutive samples free of sperm.
As with any surgery, there are risks of bleeding, pain and infection. This is exceedingly rare with the no scalpel vasectomy and occurs less than 1 in 3,000 patients. Occasionally, tender swelling at the end of the vas may occur. This is called a sperm granuloma. In most cases no treatment is required.
This is called recanalization, and it occurs in less than 1 per 2,000 patients. This rare complication means that you are NOT sterile and can be diagnosed by the presence of sperm in the post vasectomy specimens.
No. Vasectomies were first performed in the U.S. during the late 1930s. Many studies have since looked at the lasting health effects and found no long-term health risks associated with vasectomy. In 1993 a panel assembled by the National Institutes of Health reaffirmed the conclusion of most medical experts that vasectomy is safe.
Your vasectomy will have no effect on your erections, sex drive (libido), hormone levels or performance in any way. Some people feel intercourse is more spontaneous when there is no fear of unwanted pregnancy.
In most cases the vasectomy can be surgically reversed. The success rate depends on the number of years that have passed from the time of your vasectomy to the time of the reversal. Vasectomy reversal can be expensive and requires several hours of micro-surgery. A vasectomy should be considered permanent sterilization.
Most patients can resume intercourse within the first week following their vasectomy. You must continue to use some form of effective birth control until two consecutive post-surgical semen tests show that no sperm is present.
In most cases a basic health care plan does cover elective male sterilization (a vasectomy). Please call your insurance company prior to the procedure to check on your particular coverage. You may have to pay a co-pay or a deductible for this procedure. Advanced Urology offers highly competitive pricing for self-pay patients.
Yes, we offer competitive pricing to people whose insurance does not cover a vasectomy. Please call our offices at 720-457-8380 to get a price quote.
The Colorado Vasectomy Clinic is offered through Advanced Urology. We have three convenient locations in Lone Tree/Parker, Aurora and Denver, Colorado. Procedures may be scheduled on any day of the week and same-day appointments are available. Please call 720-457-8380 to schedule your appointment.