Vasectomy FAQ’s

Q. What is a Vasectomy?

A. A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure performed by family physicians and urologists to make a man sterile. It is one of the most popular forms of contraception in the United States and worldwide, and is regarded as safe, simple and highly effective. A vasectomy is performed by cutting the vas deferens, the small tube that carries sperm from the man’s testicles to become part of his semen. Although the man continues to have sexual intercourse and climax as before, his semen does not contain sperm and he cannot father a child following a vasectomy.

Q. How long does the No-Scalpel procedure and recovery take?

A. The procedure itself usually takes about 20 minutes, sometimes less. However, including the office routine, paperwork and preparation, the total time in a doctor’s office may be about an hour. The procedure is likely to produce tenderness, discomfort and slight swelling in the first two or three days afterwards, with a return to nearly all usual activities typically within a week.

Q. Does a vasectomy work immediately?

A. No, any vasectomy does not make you sterile right away, and you’ll want to continue using some other means to guard against pregnancy until your doctor tells you otherwise. Immediately after a vasectomy, active sperm remain in the semen for a period of time. It may take up to 12 weeks before your semen is free of sperm. Your doctor will test the semen, perhaps several times over several weeks, and let you know when you can safely consider the vasectomy to be complete. This may be as long as three months.

Q. What is the cost of a No-Scalpel vasectomy?

A. The actual cost of the procedure ranges from $400 to $1,200 at other clinics. This cost is covered under many health insurance programs. You will want to ask your insurance company or HMO if any or all of this cost is provided under the benefits of your coverage. At the Vasectomy Clinic of San Diego the cost of vasectomy is $850.

Q. Can a vasectomy be reversed?

A. You should consider any vasectomy to be permanent. There are delicate microsurgery operations that may be able to reverse the effects of a vasectomy, but there is no assurance that the flow of sperm can be restored or pregnancy will result in every case. The likelihood of success can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances, including how much time has passed since the vasectomy. If you are seriously considering a vasectomy, it’s best to assume that it will be a permanent change.

Q. Does a vasectomy cause prostate cancer?

A. No. New studies have shown and further analysis indicated that there is, in fact, no difference in risk of cancer in men with or without vasectomy. The bottom line is vasectomy does not cause prostate cancer.

Q. Does vasectomy change my sex drive or performance?

A. Many studies have been done looking at tens of thousands of men over decades after vasectomy. There is no evidence to suggest that vasectomy increases the risk of erectile dysfunction or changes one’s sex drive or male sex hormone level.

Q. When can I start playing sports or exercising?

A. You may be able to play sports or resume regular activity one week after your vasectomy.

Q. Why do I have to use condoms for 12 weeks after the vasectomy?

A. The sperm live for some time in your body. We want to be sure that enough time has passed so that all the sperm have cleared and are absent from your system before stopping the use of condoms.

Q. How long do I have to wear the scrotal support?

A. You should wear the support while you are awake for the first 2 days and then anytime that you work out or exercise for the first month. You might be more comfortable wearing the support or snugly fitting underwear to bed for the first 2 days.

Q. What are the advantages of the new “no-needle no-scalpel” technique?

A. No scalpel is used, reducing bleeding, bruising and decreasing recovery time. No needle is used, significantly reducing or eliminating pain. With the “opened ended” technique further complications such as post vasectomy pain syndrome is dramatically reduced.