WHAT IS VASECTOMY?
Vasectomy is the name given to surgical sterilization of the male, an operation that prevents sperm traveling out of the testes and into the semen. If there are no sperm in your semen you cannot make a woman pregnant. The operation does not involve removing the testicles and will not affect your ability to produce semen. It will not change your sexual ability or male characteristics. You will still be able to have and enjoy sex and when you ejaculate it will feel the same. The only difference will be that your semen will not contain sperm.
WHAT HAVING A VASECTOMY MEANS
Vasectomy is a permanent form of contraception. You cannot stop using it if you change your mind. Although you may feel sure now that you will not want to father a child in the future, remember that circumstances can change. Would you still feel the same if you lost a child or changed your partner? Although reversal of vasectomy is often possible, a successful pregnancy after reversal cannot be guaranteed.
Vasectomy is a simple and straightforward operation. The surgeon makes 2 small openings in the front of the scrotum, picks up the vas deferens (the tube that carries the sperm) on each side in turn, and cuts and seals the ends of the divided vas. A small portion of each vas deferens is removed. The opening in the scrotum is closed by insertion of a single suture each side. The operation takes about 20 minutes and is carried out under a local anesthetic in the clinic.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Even though the operation takes a short time, you will be asked to allow two to three hours at the clinic for preparation, the operation and observation. When the anesthetic wears off, you will probably feel some pain at the site of the operation and have some bruising. Painkilling medication and tight fitting supportive underpants should relieve the soreness or discomfort. You should rest for a few days and avoid strenuous physical activity that exerts pressure on the groin or scrotum for one week. Normal day-to-day activity is not harmful, but if your work is physically strenuous you may need to take some sick leave. The doctor will tell you when you can shower or bathe, when to remove the dressing and when you can have sexual intercourse again.
HOW SOON IS THE OPERATION EFFECTIVE?
You will still have sperm in your tubes after the operation and it may take as many as 16 ejaculations to clear. You will be asked to take along samples of your semen for testing to a pathology laboratory two months after the operation. You will need to use another form of contraception until these tests show your semen is sperm-free.
WHERE DO THE SPERM GO?
Sperm continue to be produced in the testicles after the operation but are reabsorbed by the body.
SIDE EFFECTS OF A VASECTOMY
Apart from slight soreness, swelling and bruising immediately after the operation and lasting for a few days, there should be no side effects. Some men form sperm antibodies in the blood after the operation, but these do not appear to affect any other part of the body or cause any disease or discomfort. They may, however, be one of the reasons that prevent a man from fathering a child after having a reversal operation.
A small number of men experience bleeding or infection following a vasectomy. Rest, support for the scrotum, pain relief and antibiotics resolve most problems quickly. Occasionally sperm can leak from the ends of the cut tubes and produce small, hard lumps at the site of the operation. With time, this can occasionally lead to spontaneous rejoining of the tubes.
The cost for the procedure is $780, which must be paid in full either by CASH or CREDIT CARD, as we do not accept CHEQUES, on the day of the procedure. The Medicare rebate is $195.40 leaving an out-of-pocket expense of $584.60. Vas specimens are sent to Laverty Pathology and are bulk billed.