Is Vasectomy Right for You?
After reading this piece, you may feel ready for vasectomy. After all, if you change your mind later, you can always have vasectomy reversal surgery, right? Or maybe you'll just have some sperm frozen at a sperm bank in case you decide that you want more children one day. While these safety measures sound appealing, most doctors would advise you to reflect further about vasectomy's permanence.
While some men are able to father children after vasectomy reversal, many vasectomy reversals do not work. Banked sperm is not always viable, and sperm banks have been known to lose men's specimens on occasion. Experts recommend that men consider vasectomy as a birth control option only if they are 100 percent positive that they are done having children. Before going through with the procedure, you may want to consider your future. Many men divorce and remarry after vasectomy and then want more children with a new partner. This can lead to frustration and disappointment when vasectomy reversal surgery does not work.
If your partner is the one pushing for vasectomy because she doesn't want to get pregnant, you may want to talk to her about tubal ligation, or getting her tubes tied. This surgery is a longer, more intensive and expensive surgery, and it has more risks and side effects. For these reasons, and because vasectomy and tubal ligation success rates are similar, many couples opt for vasectomy as their preferred method of sterilization. The decision to have sterilization surgery is highly personal and should be thoroughly discussed with your partner and healthcare practitioners.
For more information on vasectomies and reproductive health, check out the links below.
More Great Links
- American Urological Association Foundation. "Vasectomy Reversal." April 2010. (7/28/10) http://www.urologyhealth.org/adult/index.cfm?cat=11&topic=153
- Barone, et al. "Characteristics of men receiving vasectomies in the United States, 1998-1999." Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Vol. 36, No.1. 2004. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3602704.pdf
- Barone, et al. "Vasectomy in the United States, 2002." The Journal of Urology. Vol. 176, No. 1. 232-6. 2006. http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(06)00507-6/abstract
- Bensyl, et al. "Contraceptive Use -- United States and Territories, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vol. 54, No. SS06. 1-72. 2005. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5406a1.htm
- CDC. "Tubal Sterilization and Vasectomy." Family Planning Methods and Practice; Africa. 2000. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/ProductsPubs/Africa/Africa_bk.pdf
- Christiansen, C.G. and Sandlow, J.I. "Testicular Pain Following Vasectomy: A Review of Postvasectomy Pain Syndrome." Journal of Andrology. Vol. 24, No. 3. 293-298. May/June 2003. http://www.andrologyjournal.org/cgi/content/full/24/3/293
- Clenney, T.L. and Higgins, J.C. "Vasectomy Techniques." American Family Physician. 1999. http://www.aafp.org/afp/990700ap/137.html
- Cook, L., Pun, A., Gallo, M.F., Lopez, L.M., and Van Vliet, H. "Scalpel versus no-scalpel incision for vasectomy." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Vol. 2. 2007. http://apps.who.int/rhl/reviews/CD004112.pdf
- Cox, et al. "Vasectomy and Risk of Prostate Cancer." Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 287, No. 23. 3110-3115. 2002. http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/287/23/3110
- Davis, B. "Vasectomy." WebMD Birth Control Health Center. May 2008. (Aug. 1, 2010) http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/vasectomy-14387
- Drake, M.J., Mills, I.W., and Cranston, D. "On the chequered history of vasectomy." British Journal of Urology International. Vol. 84, No. 4. 475-481. 1999. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/119091539/PDFSTART?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
- Huh, B.K. and Zieve, D. "Conscious sedation for surgical procedures." MedlinePlus. March 2009. (July 28, 2010) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007409.htm
- Jamieson, et al. "The Risk of Pregnancy After Vasectomy." Obstetrics & Gynecology. Vol. 103, No. 5. 848-50. 2004. http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Fulltext/2004/05000/The_Risk_of_Pregnancy_After_Vasectomy.5.aspx
- Kim, H.H. and Goldstein, M. "History of vasectomy reversal." Urologic Clinics of North America. Vol. 36, No. 3. 359-73. 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19643238
- Leavesley, J.H. "Brief history of vasectomy." Family Planning Information Services. Vol. 1, No. 5. 2-3. 1980. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12336890
- Myers, S.A., Mershon, C.E., and Fuchs, E.F. "Vasectomy reversal for treatment of the post-vasectomy pain syndrome." Journal of Urology. Vol. 157, No. 2. 518-20. Feb 1997. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8996346
- National Library of Medicine Patient Education Institute. "Vasectomy." May 2008. (July 28, 2010) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/vasectomy/ur039104.pdf
- Planned Parenthood. "Vasectomy." 2010. (July 28, 2010) http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/vasectomy-4249.htm
- Scott, A. and Glasier, A. "Contraceptive sterilization: global issues and trends." Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Vol. 81, No. 2. 146. 2003. http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?pid=S0042-96862003000200013&script=sci_arttext
- Smith, et al. "Are sexual problems more common in men who have had a vasectomy? A population-based study of Australian men." Journal of Sexual Medicine. Vol. 7, No. 2 pt.1. 736-742. 2009. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122667385/abstract/
- Sokal, D., et al. "A comparison of vas occlusion techniques: cautery more effective than ligation and excision with fascial interposition." BioMed Central Urology. Vol. 4, No. 12. 2004. (Oct. 11, 2010) http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2490/4/12
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Facts about vasectomy safety." October 2009. (July 28, 2010) http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/vasectomy_safety.cfm
- WebMD. "The Male Reproductive System." 2010. (Aug. 1, 2010) http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/male-reproductive-system
- Xiaozhang L. Vasectomy occlusion techniques for male sterilization: RHL commentary September 2008. The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization. Sept. 1, 2008. (Oct. 11, 2010) http://apps.who.int/rhl/fertility/contraception/CD003991_xiaozhangl_com/en/
- Zieve, D. and Miller, S. "Vasectomy." MedlinePlus. March 2010. (July 28, 2010) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002995.htm