The Vasectomy Option: A look at the Facts
Preamble: In recent times there has being significant push back from women about being left to carry the burden of most family planning methods including shouldering the impact some of these procedures have on their bodies such as weight gain.
Some men have become open minded about other options (such as vasectomy) while others see it as a part of a grand plan by hardcore feminists to “emasculate” them (remove what makes them men)
A vasectomy seems to be dreaded procedure among men, at least the result of our online twitter poll shows that almost 4 out of 10 men completely ruled it out as an option and about 3 in ten were open to considering it only after having all the kids they wanted.
Pharmacist Ucheoma Ezinne (Our sexual and reproductive health expert) talks about the science here
Meanwhile, you can download our January magazine to read her piece, The Other Room: Toys, Food, and Condoms
What is a Vasectomy?
It is a form of birth control for men and involves a minor surgical procedure. This procedure involves the cutting and/or tying or sealing of the vas deferens (this tube transports mature sperms from where they are stored to the urethra in preparation for ejaculation). This way, sperms don’t get to the urethra and there can be no fertilization during intercourse
There are 4 types of vasectomies and they include:
- Traditional vasectomy
It involves the making of an incision on the scrotum, allowing access to the vas deferens, which is then cut and tied or sealed off permanently.
- No-scalpel vasectomy
It involves the making of a tiny hole on the scrotum and the vas deferens is reached through it.
- Clip vasectomy
Small clamps are used to block the vas deferens as opposed to cutting and tying it.
- Laser vasectomy
This involves the use of surgical laser method to cut and seal off the vas deferens.
Some Quick Facts
It is a simple procedure and can be done in the doctor’s office or clinic.
It requires local anesthetic; this means it’s only the area of the procedure that will be made dumb.
It is a short procedure and takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
Food and water can be taken prior to the procedure.
It can be carried out by a urologist, trained family medicine doctor.
It does not result in immediate sterility, as some viable sperms can be found several weeks after the procedure. (So please do well to use other forms of birth control, to avoid stories that touch).
It can be reversed if the vas deferens was cut and tied, although the procedure is not considered to be 100% effective. This means that it is possible the man may never get a woman pregnant. (Yeah, I know; good and bad, yeah?). The longer the length of time, the more difficult the reversal procedure.
It does not stop a man from transmitting or contracting diseases or infections, if unprotected sex is practiced.
It does not affect sexual stamina or libido at all.
Major side effects include swelling and bruising at the site of incision; and a pain relief can go a long way in relieving any pains.
It is best to give it a week and some days before resuming bedmatics; this is to avoid causing more pain which may delay proper healing. (We wouldn’t want that now, would we?)
Within a day or two, normal activities can be resumed
I would advise that this decision not be taken alone but with your partner. This is because it is a huge and lifelong decision and you might need to ask yourselves these questions:
- Are we ready to give up having kids?
- What if we get separated, would I want kids with another person?
- What if we lose our kids?
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