If you and your partner want to prevent pregnancy for the foreseeable future, a vasectomy may be a smart option. During this safe and simple in-office procedure, the tubes that transport sperm are cut and then closed off at both ends so that fertilizing an egg becomes virtually impossible. As few as one in 1,000 vasectomies fail to stave off pregnancy, making it one of the most effective birth control options around. That said, vasectomies aren’t ideal for everyone, and the decision to have the procedure should be a thoughtful one.
Dr. Javier Sosa and our expert team at Woodlands Primary Healthcare provide vasectomies as one of many in-office procedures. Read on to learn more about vasectomies, including considerations to ponder before selecting the procedure.
Benefits of a vasectomy
In addition to its high effectiveness rate for preventing pregnancy, vasectomies can be helpful if you or your partner aren’t a good candidate for other birth control options. Birth control pills aren’t recommended, for example, for women over age 35 or who smoke or have a blood clotting disorder.
Vasectomies also do not cause side effects, the way hormonal birth control options can. The procedure itself brings risks associated with any minor surgery, but vasectomies are generally considered very safe. And rather than your partner having to remember to take a pill or either of you keeping condoms on-hand, you can generally rest easy, knowing that pregnancy is highly unlikely after a vasectomy.
Many people also appreciate that recovery from a vasectomy is very mild. After the procedure, most people can return to work within 2-3 days and resume usual exercise and intercourse within seven days. Any bruising or swelling typically resolves on its own within two weeks.
Who shouldn’t get a vasectomy
If you think you may change your mind about pregnancy at some point, a vasectomy might not be your best bet. Vasectomies are reversible, but the procedure to do so is more in-depth and complex. While a vasectomy takes only about 20 minutes, vasectomy reversal can take 4-6 hours. And even then, there’s no guarantee that you and your partner will achieve pregnancy afterward (you could work around this by going with in vitro fertilization, instead of a vasectomy reversal). A vasectomy also does not protect against sexually-transmitted infections, so if you’re not in a monogamous relationship or if you or your partner has an STI, you’ll still need an additional form of protection, such as condoms. If that doesn’t appeal to you, a vasectomy probably isn’t your best option.
To learn more about vasectomies or find out if you’re a strong candidate, call Woodlands Primary Healthcare, located in The Woodlands, Texas, or request an appointment with Dr. Sosa on our website.