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5 Factors to Consider Before Getting a Vasectomy

Jan 11, 2023
5 Factors to Consider Before Getting a Vasectomy
Ready to take the plunge and go for the "big snip”? Don't do it without considering what a vasectomy means for you and your future. Here are the top five things you should consider before committing.

Whether you're uninterested in starting a family or you and your partner are happy with your brood the way it is, vasectomies are an excellent option for family planning. But just because they're a simple (and popular) procedure doesn't always mean that a vasectomy is right for you. 

Our board-certified urologists at Bellingham Urology Group have years of experience performing vasectomies and helping men make the best decisions for their families and futures. Here, we discuss a few things we believe you should consider before having a vasectomy. 

1. Your sex life

Having surgery "down there" may make you think that your sex life is over. However, other than being sore for a few days, a vasectomy shouldn't interrupt your sex life. Most men maintain their presurgery libido, their ability to get and keep an erection, and their ability to ejaculate.

Remember that only a small amount of your ejaculate comes from your testicles, most of which don't contain any sperm. After your operation, sperm elimination is gradual, so make sure you're using other forms of birth control methods until your semen sample comes back sperm-free. 

2. Your partner

Getting a vasectomy shouldn't be a solo decision if you're in a relationship. Be sure to have a conversation (or two or three) with your partner before committing. 

Are you really done or uninterested in having children? Think long and hard about this one. Yes, there are options if you change your mind down the road or if your circumstances change, but getting a vasectomy is a big decision, and it's not one you should take lightly.

You should both consider that vasectomies are permanent, so make sure you're both ready. 

3. Your results

No form of birth control (even surgeries like vasectomies) is 100% effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the risk of pregnancy post-vasectomy is around 0.15%. That said, vasectomies are still considered to be incredibly effective. 

Also, remember that vasectomies don't protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so be sure to use a condom, especially if you have more than one partner. 

4. Your risk for side effects

For most men, vasectomies are safe and effective and come with almost zero risk for side effects. Most get back to work and their regular routine after a few days and return to sports and sex after a week. 

However, there's still a chance you might run into problems. You may experience soreness, tenderness, swelling, bruising, and/or short-term bruising.

If you're worried about side effects, we can tell you if you're at an increased risk. 

5. Your reversal options

A vasectomy can be reversed, but it's not easy or cheap. Where the original vasectomy is a simple, in-office procedure, the reversal is a lengthy, complicated, delicate procedure. You also open yourself up to more risk for complications. 

If you do opt for a reversal, we can do it one of two ways:

  • Vasovasostomy: We reattach the two ends of your vas deferens back together.
  • Vasoepididymostomy: We attach the ends of your vas deferens directly to your epididymis, which is the organ at the back of each testicle that holds your sperm.

There's also the option to have your sperm extracted and saved for in vitro fertilization. 

If you'd like more information or have more questions about what to expect from a vasectomy, we’d love to talk with you. Request an appointment online or over the phone at either one of our offices in Bellingham or Mount Vernon, Washington, today.