Vasectomy can be a four-letter word to some men, especially in America. However, roughly 500,000 men go under the knife every year for this outpatient procedure. It is a relatively undisputed fact that vasectomies are less expensive, invasive, and have fewer risks, than tubal ligation (the female sterilization option). However, very few men undergo elective sterilization than women. Here are the numbers from the Journal of Urology. So, why don’t more men get the procedure? Most of the time, because they are afraid of pain in a very sensitive area or because they are exposed to misinformation. Here are three big things to ask your doctor when looking into vasectomies that can help soothe your concerns.
- What Kind Of Pain Will I Have?
The number one question, ‘How bad will it hurt?’. There are two primary sources of pain during a vasectomy: the procedure and the recovery.
Most men report very little pain during the procedure due to anesthetic use during preparation. This will numb the area where the doctor will be making incisions to cut and seal off the vas deferens. Some doctors will approach the initial injections differently. Some will use a topical anesthetic, and some will just give you the shots. Make sure you understand the process your physician uses before so you can prepare yourself.
In fact, most reports of pain are from recovery, but there are definite steps to take to minimize any discomfort. Talk to your physician about pain medication after the procedure. Again, some doctors will differ here, and either prescribes pain medication or recommend over the counter pain medication. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and the options. Also, frozen peas, a jock strap, and loose fitting bottoms are your new best friends for the first weekend.
- What Physical Exertions Should I Avoid?
This is a big question and one that can limit or guarantee side effects depending on how good you follow your doctor’s directions. Most physicians will tell you to avoid any lifting over 15 pounds for at least a weekend and up to a week. Take this advice. Seriously. He isn’t just being overly cautious, and you do not want side effects in that area.
No sex for at least a week is pretty standard advice that should be followed. You will experience swelling in your scrotum, and sexual activity will just aggravate the swelling and any stitches that you might have. Know what your doctor expects before the procedure, so you can adjust your lifestyle in whatever ways are required.
- Long-Term Concerns?
Your doctor should bring up any long term side effects that you need to be aware of and ask if they don’t. A vasectomy will require your body to make internal adjustments for an extended period, and by understanding those processes, you will be a better patient and ensure your procedure is successful long term.
Most of what is online is wrong. Are there risks? Of course, there are, and some of them are serious, but the risks are much lower to you than to your partner. It isn’t going to kill your sex drive, keep you in pain for months, or impact your ‘manliness.’ See this list of things it WON’T do It is a safe, simple procedure that, if prepared for and done properly, can be a great form of long-term birth control when you are at that place in your life.