As a Urologist, I see many men each year who are considering getting a vasectomy and I perform many as well. In fact over 500,000 vasectomies are performed each year in the United States, making it the fourth most commonly used form of contraception. Other forms of contraception include condoms, birth control pills, IUD and tubal ligation. There are several benefits of having a vasectomy over other forms of contraception.
The main benefits over other forms of contraception, such as tubal ligation, are that it is simple, faster and less expensive while just as effective in preventing pregnancy. In addition, there is less pain, no need for general anesthesia and faster recovery. Vasectomies are performed in an office setting with local anesthesia and the men can usually return to work within 24-48 hours. I tell most of my patients that they can resume exercising and sexual activity within one week. There is no effect on erectile and ejaculatory function nor is there any decrease in the pleasurable sensation associated with sex. In fact, some men report an increased enjoyment with sex because they are no longer concerned with the possibility of pregnancy occurring. It is important to note that it takes about 3 months for a man to clear out all remaining sperm so contraception must be used until sterility is documented by a sperm count.
When I counsel men on vasectomy I describe the procedure (I perform a "no scalpel" vasectomy) as well as potential side effects. I stress that although some side effects sound intimidating, I rarely see anybody with them after their vasectomy. These side effects include scrotal swelling, prolonged testicular pain, persistent sperm indicating a vasectomy failure (yes that does happen-but rarely) requiring repeat vasectomy. And while a vasectomy is reversible, I don't recommend any man having one that might be considering having more children in the future.
I believe that vasectomy is an excellent form of contraception and I offer it to my patients without hesitation. If you are considering a vasectomy please call 215-563-1199 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with me.