“I’m 42 and my wife is 38. We have two boys and we don’t want any more children. Also, it was time for my wife to get her implant replaced – so a good time to decide. After much talking, we decided on me getting a vasectomy. The procedure was fast – under 10 minutes- not much pain, and I was back at work the next day.” – Mark G.
What is a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is a form of birth control for men or people born with testicles. It lasts for life. During this procedure, a health care provider closes or blocks the tubes that carry sperm. When the tubes are closed, sperm cannot leave the body and make their partner pregnant.
Does it work?
Vasectomy is the birth control method that works best for men. It works more than 99% of the time. But it may not take effect right away. Sperm can stay beyond the blocked tubes. So you must use other birth control until these sperm are used up. This can take about 3 months. A simple test (semen analysis) shows if any sperm are left.
This procedure does not protect you against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Cum (semen) can contain STIs, even if it doesn’t contain sperm. Condoms help protect against STIs.
What are the pros of vasectomy?
Vasectomy is safe. Since it lasts for life, it is easy to use. It lets women and men enjoy sex without worrying about pregnancy.
This procedure will not change your hormones or lower a person’s sex drive. It will not change your ability to get and stay erect. It also will not change how much you enjoy sex. No glands or organs are removed or changed. You will keep making sperm. Your semen will look just like it always did. There will be about the same amount as before.
What are the cons of vasectomy?
Vasectomy may not be a good choice if you:
- May want to have a biological child in the future.
- Are being pressured by a partner, friend, or family member.
- Want to use it to solve problems that may be temporary — such as marriage or sexual problems, short-term mental or physical illnesses, worries about money, or being out of work.
Before you get this procedure, think about other birth control methods. These include condoms, withdrawal, and abstinence.
Women have other options too. The IUD (intrauterine device) and the implant work just as well as vasectomy. They are just as easy to use. They last a long time. But they can be reversed.
Are there any side effects?
All medical procedures have risks. But major problems with vasectomy are rare. Most are caused by infection.
As with any surgery, you may have some pain afterward. The amount of pain differs for each person. An athletic supporter, ice bag, and non-aspirin pain reliever may ease your pain.
How do I set up a visit?
To talk about vasectomy with one of our counselors, call (714) 922-4100. After this visit, your health care provider will set up your procedure.
Board certified doctors do this procedure in our Costa Mesa and San Bernardino health centers. It takes about 5-20 minutes. But you may be in the health center for about 2 hours. You will need to come back for checkups and tests to make sure that you’re healing and that the procedure worked.
How much will it cost?
Our fees are on a sliding scale. That means you pay what you can afford. If you don’t have insurance, we can still help you.
To set up a visit at one of our health centers, please call:
Questions about birth control or other sexual health topics?
Ask a trained Health Educator.
Call toll-free: (877) 4ME-2ASK
Chat online: PlannedParenthoodChat.org
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