Why Vasectomy Isn’t Always the Right Choice

Vasectomy, or male sterilization, is an effective form of birth control. It involves cutting the tubes, called vas deferens, that release sperm into the seminal fluid, thereby preventing pregnancy. Vasectomies don’t prevent erections or ejaculations, so intercourse feels the same for both partners.

Men often decide to have a vasectomy when they know they don’t want any (or any more) children and no longer wish to rely on other forms of birth control. While the procedure is quite safe and effective, it’s not ideal for everyone. Here’s why having a vasectomy isn’t always the right choice.

It’s Not Risk-Free

The most common risk of male sterilization is the ongoing pain and discomfort of the testes or surrounding area. This condition is most often caused by the congestion of sperm in the system and may occur within a year of having a vasectomy. Treatment is usually simple, including taking anti-inflammatory medication and applying heat therapy. One to six percent of men need further treatment to relieve their pain.

Other risks of vasectomy include:

Bleeding under the skin, resulting in temporary swelling or bruising

Infection at the incision site or inside the scrotum

A lump forming near the treatment site (surgery may be needed to remove the lump)

Vas deferens growing back together and enabling the man to have children again

It Doesn’t Protect Against STDs

Most forms of contraception don’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases. This includes birth control pills, IUDs, tubal ligations (female sterilization), and vasectomies. To prevent contracting an STD, you should either be abstinent or use a condom, even after undergoing sterilization.

Your Partner Might Disagree

While the decision to get a vasectomy is a very personal one, it isn’t yours to make alone. A man and his partner should discuss honestly and openly about the possibility of not having any (or any more) children. If you don’t want kids, but your girlfriend or wife does, getting a vasectomy behind her back is not the right choice.

You Might Not Qualify

Male sterilization is often difficult to arrange for single or childless men under 35 years old. Federally funded procedures may not be performed on anyone who is under age 21 or unable to give legal consent. Vasectomies aren’t recommended for teenagers because the procedure is intended to be permanent. Many providers and hospitals simply deem sterilization to be too significant of a decision for a minor to make.

You Might Change Your Mind

Aside from tubal ligation, most other forms of contraception are temporary. If you and your partner decide you want to have kids after all, it’s easy to simply discontinue many birth control methods. Vasectomies, however, require surgical reversal. It can be done, but not having a vasectomy in the first place is a better choice if you’re not sure where you stand on being a parent.

If you’re ready to reverse your vasectomy, please call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal at 941.894.6428 to learn more about the procedure.

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