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Vasectomy: Yes or no?

There are enough little pink feet crawling, sliding or running around in the house, thank-you. Luckily contraceptives within a marriage is the women’s department, right? Wrong!

The Pill or a monthly injection is often the given contraceptive method for married couples. Or a small device can be implanted in in a women’s uterus to prevent one of your eager sperms from settling down in there. A female sterilization is carried-out under anaesthesia or with an epidural carried out in hospital. Not one of the above are absolutely full-proof and there are often unpleasant side-effects.

Condoms have their place, but forgetting to use them just once or even having a condom tear once-off, and it may be tickets. Gone are the days that women have to take-on certain responsibilities alone. That includes contraception – ever since vasectomies made their arrival.

What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a simple procedure wherein the ejaculatory ducts that transport sperm to the sperm sacs beneath the bladder are cut and tied. The sperm cells are therefore no longer part of the ejaculatory fluid. (The testes will still produce sperm cells, but it will be absorbed by the body and broken down.) An incision is made under local anaesthesia on both sides of the scrotum. It takes less than half an hour and the patient can go home an hour later. It takes about a week to completely recover.

If you don’t want a scalpel near your testicles, then the scrotum can be perforated with a haemostat. The seminiferous tubules are then burned off. This reduces bleeding and the possibility of infection is remote. There is usually no need for stitches.

Patients can also request the ejaculatory ducts to rather be clamped. The chances of a "slip-up" is greater, but so are the chances that the patient can reverse the vasectomy. It is relatively easy and inexpensive for such a procedure to be overturned. To reverse a traditional vasectomy, the patient should be hospitalized and there is no guarantee of success.

A week after a vasectomy a patient is able to have sex again, but they must still use contraceptives. After two to four months, he will effectively be sterile, but a sperm count is needed to make sure there is no sperm present.

Are there dangers or any disadvantages to consider?
There will probably be bruising and bleeding, but it will quickly clear-up. Possible long-term complications are infection or post-vasectomy pain syndrome. The chances of this are small - certainly not big enough of a reason or excuse to not have a vasectomy! Another (slim) possibility is that sperm in the delicate parts of the testicles can build-up causing the areas exposed to this pressure to burst.

The chances of making a women fall pregnant after a vasectomy is one in two-thousand (In female sterilizations it is one in two or three hundred). It should be noted that a vasectomy does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections.
The testicles will continue to produce testosterone, and as such, there should not be a decrease in libido or virility. It may happen that you later decide to have another baby - it is therefore recommended that men have their sperm stored at a sperm-bank before having a vasectomy).

A vasectomy is a decision that you both need to decide on together after careful consideration. Women know that fertility for a man is an ego thing, but a woman worth her salt will not wait indefinitely for you to make that doctor's appointment. And who wants a wife who is so spineless that she doesn’t expect her husband to act like a man as opposed to a toddler who screams bloody murder when a needle or scalpel comes near them?