It’s no secret that women have traditionally carried the greatest responsibility for birth control. Today, modern medicine gives women lots of options. Spermicidal foams and jellies, non-hormonal gels, diaphragms, the cervical cap, sponges, pills, patches, vaginal rings, shots, implants, IUDs—even surgery (tubal ligation).
They all reduce the risk for pregnancy. Still, they can be complicated, expensive, inconvenient or come with health risks and side effects. Although many of them do a good job of preventing pregnancy, none of them are 100 percent effective.
There’s another form of tried-and-true form of birth control, though, and it’s undergoing a revival in popularity right now that’s taking the pressure off women.
Man up, guys.
When it comes to male birth control, there are two options: condoms and the “v” word—vasectomy. Many men don’t like using condoms. Just as many wince when they think about a surgical knife coming anywhere near their manhood. They are very protective of the family jewels.
While the thought of a little snip-snip in that area makes some guy’s cringe, vasectomies have been routinely performed since the end of World War II. And for good reason. Studies show that only one or two women out of 1,000 get pregnant each year after their partners have a vasectomy.
Today, nearly 500,000 men in the United States have a vasectomy every year because it’s a simple procedure. With just one or two small incisions, the vas deferens (the two tubes that move sperm) are cut and sealed off so sperm can’t reach the semen ejaculated from the penis. Because sperm is cut off, vasectomies are 99.99 percent effective against pregnancy.
“Right now, I’m getting a lot of questions about vasectomies,” says Dr. Andrew Sun with Urology Partners of North Texas (UPNT). “Men are interested in the procedure because it’s quick and inexpensive. More importantly, with the exception of abstinence, vasectomy is the most effective form of birth control available.”
More good news!
Along with being so effective in preventing pregnancy, vasectomy doesn’t affect a man’s libido, sexual function or semen production. Men still experience normal orgasms! A vasectomy simply prevents sperm from mixing with other seminal fluids. After a vasectomy, a man still ejaculates normally, but sperm will no longer be present in his ejaculatory fluid.
Let our “V” team help.
UPNT has a roster of experienced and compassionate urologists—including skilled micro surgeons who specialize in precision vasectomy.
The minor procedure usually takes about 20 minutes and is usually performed right in the urology clinic under local anesthesia. Given its efficacy and relative simplicity, men have good reasons to feel very comfortable with their decision to have a vasectomy.
Many men consider vasectomy a loving gift.
After years of watching the women in their lives shoulder the responsibility of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth, they view it as a chance to do their part. “I’ve had many men tell me, ‘It’s only fair that I do this for my wife,’” Dr. Sun says.
Following the procedure, some men have a small risk for bleeding, bruising and infection. Strenuous activity is restricted for five to seven days during recovery. Many men schedule their vasectomy for a Thursday or Friday so they can rest on Saturday and Sunday (a terrific excuse to binge watch sports all weekend).
“It’s extremely important for men to check with their urologist before having unprotected sex after their vasectomy,” adds Dr. Sun. A semen analysis a few months post-vasectomy can confirm that sperm is no longer present in semen.
What if you change your mind?
“Most vasectomies can be reversed—even if several years have passed since the procedure,” Dr. Sun explains. Although a reversal doesn’t guarantee success in conceiving a child, studies show that men have a 40 to 90 percent success rate of sperm returning to the semen. “We want to make sure men know about all their options so they can make informed decisions about vasectomy and vasectomy reversal.”
Want to know more?
With clinics in Arlington, Fort Worth, Alliance, Mansfield, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Irving and Weatherford, UPNT has a caring and compassionate team waiting to help you live healthier and happier. Visit us at upnt.com to get to know a bit about our docs. Follow us on Facebook. You can also call us at 866-367-8768 to schedule a consultation.