What is a Vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a procedure which results in a man’s sterility (inability to produce sperm for reproduction). It is a procedure which can generally be performed in the office with local anesthetic. During vasectomy the vas deferens is divided and sometimes tied or cauterized, which blocks the flow of sperm. Vasectomy is a very effective method of contraception for monogamous couples. Vasectomy does not prevent transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). Risks of vasectomy are bleeding and chronic testicular pain. Some studied have suggested increased prostate cancer in patients who have had vasectomy. This has not been definitively proven. It should be mentioned that vasectomy for the most part is permanent. Sterility is not declared until the man has had 2 negative sperm samples.

What is a vasectomy reversal?

Sometimes a man who has had a vasectomy may decide to have children of his own and may thus desire a vasectomy reversal. Vasectomy reversal is a surgical procedure which reunites the previously divided vas deferens. Although this procedure is technically possible, generally after 9 years the quality of sperm is unsatisfactory to produce a pregnancy. This procedure takes about 2-3 hours, and may be performed under general or regional anesthesia in most centers.

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