Morning Mix


Vasectomy: What men need to know before getting the procedure

Posted at 10:39 AM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 10:39:55-05

Want an excuse to stay home for an entire weekend to watch college basketball? Well, you could if you schedule a vasectomy for March 21 or 22.

While the weekend on the couch probably isn't the first reason for considering a vasectomy, there are many actual reasons to have this quick and effective procedure. Spectrum Health urologist Dr. John Humphrey stopped by to explain the benefits of vasectomy as a method of birth control.

A vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control that involves a minor surgical procedure to seal the vas deferens so that sperm do not reach the semen. The vas deferens is the tube that conveys sperm from the testicle to the urethra. A doctor makes one or two small punctures under local anesthesia to access the vas deferens tubes, which are then cut and sealed.

The procedure is quite simple, does not require hospitalization, and can be done in about a half hour in your doctor’s office. It is also much less invasive and presents fewer health risks than a tubal ligation procedure for women, which is another reason that men often choose it: out of consideration for their partner.

Afterwards, there may be some minor pain, swelling or bruising in the area where the surgery was performed, but it can easily be treated with an ice pack to help with the pain and swelling, and plenty of rest.

After healing from the vasectomy, a man's sex life shouldn't change at all. However men must be aware that the procedure is not immediately effective; it will take up to three months before the sperm will be cleared from the vas deferens.

Dr. Humphrey wants to remind those considering vasectomy to not get the procedure unless they're absolutely sure they don't want more children in the future. While some vasectomies can be undone, or “reversed,” the surgery is difficult, expensive, and must be performed in a hospital.

Schedule a vasectomy at Spectrum Health by calling (616)-267-7333.