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Vasectomies 101: All You Need To Know About This Popular Male Birth Control Procedure

Vasectomies 101: All You Need To Know About This Popular Male Birth Control Procedure

We’ve heard of vasectomies before, but what are they? Also known as male sterilization or getting snipped, this procedure involves cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the semen. That means that ejaculations will no longer carry sperm, preventing conception during sexual intercourse. It can be done with a local anesthetic and usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to perform in the office under light sedation or local anesthesia. You might even get to watch it!

What Is A Vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a safe, simple, and permanent form of birth control for men. It involves cutting and sealing off tubes called vas deferens that carry sperm from the testicles to semen. In turn, ejaculation will no longer carry sperm, preventing pregnancy during sexual intercourse. The procedure takes about 20 minutes or less in a doctor’s office; in some cases, you can go home on the same day as your procedure. Recovery time may vary slightly depending on how you feel but many men return to work within a few days.

How Does It Work?

A vasectomy works by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles. These tubes are called vas deferens and can be found on each side of his scrotum, just above his testicles. During a vasectomy procedure, these tubes are cut in two places and sealed with surgical tape or heat-based cautery. After several days, small openings called punctures to develop which allow for sperm to leak out of a man’s body when he ejaculates. Sperm is rarely present in semen after a few weeks after a vasectomy is performed, according to MedlinePlus.

How Do I Prepare?

During your consultation, your doctor will explain how you can prepare for a vasectomy. If you have any questions about what kind of lifestyle changes may be involved, ask away! Some men worry that sex won’t feel as good after getting a vasectomy, and your doctor can help ease any concerns by discussing some common misconceptions. For example, it’s a myth that your semen will look different or smell differently. Ejaculate is primarily composed of sperm cells and seminal fluid, so even if there are fewer sperm in each ejaculation following surgery, it won’t change how semen looks or smells. One thing you should ask your doctor is whether he or she has ever encountered complications related to their vasectomy procedure—any reputable provider should have at least some experience with them.

What Are My Options?

A vasectomy, or male sterilization, is a surgical procedure that can be performed in your doctor’s office under local anesthetic. The whole thing will take about 30 minutes, and you may experience some mild discomfort for a few days afterward. There are no risks to sexual health after a vasectomy—once you’ve been snipped, you won’t be able to make more babies (without some help from reproductive technology). That said, keep in mind that when it comes to birth control methods, nothing is foolproof.

Where Can I Have One Done?

Because vasectomies are one of the most popular methods of male birth control, there are quite a few doctors and clinics that offer them. The majority of men have their procedure performed by a urologist; however, in cases where a man has already undergone a vasectomy, he can ask his primary care doctor or gynecologist to perform it instead. Depending on where you live, some hospitals may also offer temporary or permanent sterilization services through their medical clinic.

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How Much Does It Cost?

A vasectomy is a popular form of permanent birth control that’s undergone significant improvements in recent years. Vasectomy procedures are often covered by insurance, and they can also be completed quickly with minimal recovery time. As a result, many men find it less costly than other forms of male birth control, such as condoms or birth control pills. The cost varies widely depending on where you live and whether you have health insurance. Most prices hover around $500 but can reach up to $3000 for more complicated cases (more about these later). For some men, paying for vasectomy out of pocket makes sense given that vasectomy costs far less than female sterilization procedures like tubal ligation or having a hysterectomy.

Does Insurance Cover Any Part Of It?

Most insurance plans do not cover male birth control, according to Planned Parenthood. If a vasectomy is covered at all, it will be limited. In most cases, only men with certain medical conditions that could put them or their partners at risk for pregnancy are eligible for coverage. The good news? A vasectomy is cost-effective and less invasive than female sterilization.

Common Concerns Answered (video Included Below):

Is it safe? What are vasectomy side effects? How long does it take to recover from a vasectomy? Is it a good option for someone who doesn’t want kids or wants them later on in life? Who should get one and how do you find out more about vasectomies and other birth control options like condoms, birth control pills and others?

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