Vasectomy is 99 percent effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and can be a great form of birth control for people who don’t want children or don’t plan on having any more children. 

Unfortunately, there are plenty of myths and horror stories that have frightened people away from this procedure. These myths simply are not true, and we’re going to take a look at some of them today to hopefully ease your anxiety if you’re considering a vasectomy for yourself.

Most Common Misunderstandings About Vasectomy

First of all, let’s get some of the more common vasectomy misunderstandings out of the way. A vasectomy is a procedure in which the vas deferens are disconnected. The vas deferens are the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the semen during intercourse. 

Testes still produce sperm, but they die and are absorbed safely by the body. Testes themselves are not removed or harmed in any way. Also, vasectomy does not cause erectile dysfunction or a drop in testosterone levels. The only change to your libido is that your semen will no longer contain sperm.

Vasectomy Affects Your libid0

A very common myth is that a vasectomy can affect testosterone levels. That simply is not true. There have been no reported decreases in testosterone levels associated with vasectomy. 

A vasectomy also will not affect your ability to get erections, have orgasms, or ejaculate. You will want to wait until you feel like you’ve recovered from your vasectomy to do anything, but your desire and ability will not be affected.

Procedure and Recovery Time

A vasectomy is an outpatient procedure performed under a local anesthetic. Modern techniques are minimally invasive and only involve removing a small section of the vas deferens through a very tiny incision. 

The two remaining ends of the vas deferens are sealed and stitched closed. This process is performed on both testicles, and the entire procedure lasts between 20 and 25 minutes.

For the first day of their recovery, patients are expected to put an ice pack on their scrotum for 20 minutes each hour until bedtime. Strenuous physical activity should be kept at a minimum, although patients can still walk around, remove the dressing over the incision, and take a shower.

Most patients can return to work 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Exercise and other strenuous physical activity should still be avoided during the first week after the procedure. Making out can resume as soon as the patient feels comfortable doing so.

Overall, the most important part of recovery after a vasectomy is just taking it easy. There may be some pain, but that can usually be managed with Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain relievers.

How long to wait for results

It usually takes about two months for a vasectomy to truly take effect, so birth control should still be used until the patient can undergo a sperm analysis and confirm that there is no sperm in their semen.

Vasectomy Risks and Side Effects

The most common side effect associated with vasectomy is bruising and swelling around the scrotum. There is also the chance that the vas deferens can reconnect, although this happens only one-tenth of the time. A sperm analysis two months after the procedure is often needed to determine that the vas deferens remain disconnected.

Can Vasectomy Fail?

Modern vasectomy procedures are almost 100 percent effective. There is a very small chance that the vas deferens can reconnect, but that is rare. 

For the most part, a vasectomy will only “fail” if the patient has unprotected contact less than two months after the procedure since it usually takes that long for a vasectomy to be effective. 

Once a sperm analysis confirms that there is no more sperm in the semen, there is no risk of the patient getting someone pregnant.

What If You Change Your Mind Later?

Another common myth is that a vasectomy is permanent and cannot be reversed. This is false, vasectomy can be reversed. The vas deferens can be reconnected, but it is a difficult procedure and the result is not always guaranteed. 

During this procedure, the doctor makes an incision on either side of the scrotum to check to see if there is any sperm in the vas deferens. If there is, the vas deferens can be reconnected. Sperm will be allowed to pass through again, and the patient should be able to conceive children.

The success of this procedure will depend on how long it’s been since the vasectomy and how the vasectomy was performed. It is a delicate operation that can take between four and five hours to perform, quite a far cry from the 20 minutes most vasectomies take.