In this Article
- What is a vasectomy?
- What are the different vasectomy techniques?
- How effective is a vasectomy?
- What is the recovery process for a vasectomy?
- What are the side effects of a vasectomy?
- Can you reverse a vasectomy?
- Does a vasectomy protect against AIDS and other STDs?
- How does a vasectomy affect sex?
- Are there immune reactions to sperm after a vasectomy?
- Is there an increased risk for prostate cancer after a vasectomy?
- Vasectomy At A Glance
- Find a local Urologist in your town
Can you reverse a vasectomy?
The chief advantage of vasectomy -- its permanence -- is also its chief disadvantage. The procedure itself is simple, but reversing it is difficult, expensive, and often unsuccessful. Researchers are studying new methods of blocking the vas that may produce less tissue damage and scarring and might thus permit a more successful reversal. However, these methods are all experimental, and their effectiveness has not been confirmed yet. It is possible to store semen in a sperm bank to preserve the possibility of producing a pregnancy at some future date. However, doing this is costly, and the sperm in stored semen do not always remain viable (able to cause pregnancy). For all of these reasons, doctors advise that vasectomy be undertaken only by men who are prepared to accept the fact that they will no longer be able to father a child. The decision should be considered along with other contraceptive options and discussed with a professional counselor. Men who are married or in a serious relationship should also discuss the issue with their partners.
Does a vasectomy protect against HIV/AIDS and other STDs?
Although it is extremely effective for preventing pregnancy, vasectomy does not offer protection against HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Consequently, it is important that vasectomized men continue to use condoms, preferably latex, which offer considerable protection against the spread of disease, in any sexual encounter that carries the risk of contracting or transmitting infection.
How does a vasectomy affect sex?
A man can resume sexual activity within a few days after vasectomy, but precautions should be taken against pregnancy until a test shows that his semen is free of sperm. Generally, this test is performed after the patient has had 10 to 20 post-vasectomy ejaculations. If sperm are still present in the semen, the patient is told to return later for a repeat test.
Vasectomy does not affect the production or release of testosterone, the male hormone responsible for a man's sex drive, beard, deep voice, and other masculine traits. The operation also has no effect on sexuality. Erections, climaxes, and the amount of ejaculate remain the same.
Occasionally, a man may experience sexual difficulties after vasectomy, but these almost always have an emotional basis and can usually be alleviated with counseling. More often, men who have undergone the procedure, and their partners, find that sex is more spontaneous and enjoyable once they are freed from concerns about contraception and accidental pregnancy.
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