Birth control is a shared responsibility. Women can choose various contraceptive options — from a diaphragm and an intra-uterine device to taking birth control pills.
However, men have fewer options. Other than practising abstinence, using a condom or the withdrawal method (ejaculating outside the vagina), the remaining and more lasting option is to get a vasectomy.
This surgical procedure permanently cuts or blocks off the small tubes — called vasa deferentia — through which sperm travels when the man ejaculates. A small cut is made on each side of the scrotum, a small section of each tube is either tied, blocked with surgical clips or sealed with an electric current.
“The success rate of vasectomy as a form of contraception is in excess of 99 per cent.”
If the mere thought of having surgery leaves your man feeling queasy, he may want to go for the non-surgical method. Instead of scalpel cuts, a tiny puncture is made. This method reduces your risk of infection and bruising, nor will you have to deal with stitches.
After the vasectomy, your husband will still be able to ejaculate and have an orgasm although his semen carry no traces of sperm.
Gleneagles Hospital urologist Dr Poh Beow Kiong points out, “The success rate of vasectomy as a form of contraception is in excess of 99 per cent.” While there are no official figures on the number of vasectomies carried out in Singapore every year, Dr Poh says he gets two enquiries about the procedure every week.
So, if you and your spouse don’t plan any more kids, a vasectomy ensures that you won’t have to handle any unexpected “surprises” or “accidents”. Here are other surprising facts to know about the sterilisation procedure…
1) Your hubby’s ejaculate may look different after Dr Poh says some patients claim that their ejaculate looks clearer than before but many patients do not see any difference in the quality of their semen.
2) It will not affect your spouse’s sex drive or hormone production Getting a vasectomy will not affect your spouse’s sex drive, ability to have an erection or the quality of his orgasms. His testicles will also still continue to produce testosterone and sperm. So, any misconceptions of a vasectomy making him any less “manly” is unfounded.
3) You’ll both need to abstain from sex for a while after the procedure Your hubby’s sperm can remain in the tubes for weeks following his vasectomy. Dr Poh stresses that this is why it’s important to wait for your doctor’s green light before indulging in the horizontal mambo, if you don’t want the stork to visit unexpectedly. “This usually happens after seminal analysis [after the] procedure [shows the presence of] azoospermia (a condition where there’s no sperm count).”
A vasectomy reversal doesn’t guarantee that the guy will succeed in conceiving a baby.
4) A vasectomy may increase your risk of prostate cancer According to a 2014 study from the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that a vasectomy is associated with an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer. One in every four men in the study of 49,405 men reported having a vasectomy. However, this shouldn’t be a cause for worry as Dr Poh shares that further studies need to be done to verify this claim.
5) Vasectomies are reversible… Dr Poh explains that the success rate of vasectomy reversals varies according to many factors. This includes the patient’s age and how much time has elapsed between the procedure and the reversal. The success rate of joining the two cut ends of the vas deferens back together is high, Dr Poh states. However, the cost of reversing your vasectomy is more expensive than doing the procedure. He notes a vasectomy costs about $3,500 to $5,000.
6) …but it doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be fertile again. A vasectomy reversal doesn’t guarantee that the guy will succeed in conceiving a baby. Dr Poh notes, “If the vasectomy reversal was done more than three years after the vasectomy, this [could negatively impact the] success of conception following a vasectomy reversal.” So, be very sure that you are done having kids before you move forward with this surgery.
7) You’ll recover pretty quickly from the procedure The recovery period can vary between patients a lot. Dr Poh notes that most of his patients return to work after two days, nor will his patients feel any pain or discomfort when they need to pee right after the procedure.
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